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Out of the Wood
edited by Claudia Zanfi

Gianmaria Conti
Daniela De Lorenzo
Manel Esclusa
Franco Fontana
Hamish Fulton
Luigi Ghirri
Mario Giacomelli
Gianfranco Gorgoni
Filippo Maggia
Carol Marino Marzia Migliora
Chiyoko Miura
Arno Raphael Minkinnen
Floris Neussus
Carmelo Nicosia
Giuseppe Penone
Gloria Salvatori
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Jerry Uelsmann

Francesca Woodman Out of the wood, almost like being out of mind — halfway between astonishment and estrangement. Or perhaps, more precisely, inside the wood, being inside things, dreaming about them so as to render them tangible, so as to wake up to them like in the work of Mari Giacomelli "Presa di Coscienza sulla Natura" (Awakening to Nature). This is the starting point from which the whole exhibition project was developed. The importance is placed on the relationship between art and nature, and is shown through a series of challenging materials open to diverse readings and further considerations. The choice of artists ranges from young contemporary photographers to past masters who use photography to investigate the mysteries of nature and the relationship between modern man and the surrounding landscape. A careful study of the landscape reveals how its harmony depends on dynamic and static masses. By dynamic we refer to the hills, the valleys, the fields, the rivers, points on which the eye may rest or, conversely, flit and stray, wander in freedom. By static we mean for example the trees with their bows, branches, trunks and bark, rooted to the ground by their very nature. Halfway between these two forces within nature man finds his space, creating a sort of dynamicism across the landscape as he moves in and out of the wood. "To be able to see the eye of the earth. I see the desert moved by the wind, the forest moved by the wind, man moved by the wind.", states Giuseppe Penone, a photographer who, by virtue of his profound research, exemplifies well the idea of being inside the wood (where the artist leaves his mark, his sign, his footprints, his influence), or out of the wood (where the artist recreates the tree, the wood, he searches for the centre of the earth). When one has an awareness of one's seeing, the gaze is held by the both physical and theoretical presence of the human being within the image in question.

The exhibition, in collaboration with the Palazzo delle Papesse di Siena and the Galleria Civica di Modena, organised by Holywood di Ponsano, was held in Casole d'Elsa from 20th May until 18 June 2000.

Claudia Zanfi