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On the other side of the mirror

What runs through all the photos I have taken based on these stories, all different, is a mirror, one which I have moved several hundred times without ever entering the field of what it reflects.

Except for one time, the only time where I went to the other side of the mirror to have myself photographed and play with my own device and could thus choose the elements that would compose the portrait.

The photos used, both of them photographed in long exposure like the portrait itself, are truly a mise en abyme of what led me to this RESTRICA project.

On the first one, taken early in the morning from the S-Bahn exit at Potsdamer Platz, in the city of Berlin where I have lived for over ten years, I am hiding with my shoulder the slender figure of a man leaving. The second photo is already a mixture of two elements: the face of Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti and the Court of Cassation in Rome. It is taken from Alternativa Popolare, a mini-series made in Rome in the summer of 2018 on Italian resistance figures the week the Salvini government was formed. 

The process of superimposing the face of Nanni Moretti (the filmmaker who most influenced my relationship with fiction) on the Court of Cassation (a reference to the Girotondi, a popular resistance movement to Berlusconi in which he played a fervent role) sparked my thinking about the device used for RESTRICA. 

The first discussions with Pascale Laborier on what these portraits could potentially be revealed a shared intuition: they should be based on transparency and superposition. Pascale herself had in mind the work of another photographer and visual artist, also from Berlin, whose work appears in her photo. 

At the time my picture is being taken, it is very logically Pascale’s hand pressing the shutter button and pushing the mirror. The photo bears the mark of her particular gesture: by pushing the mirror more slowly than I would have done, it creates an unprecedented trail of movement over the objects in the photo: my favourite cup of coffee, my camera and the Gummibärchen (gummy bears).

In a way, this photo symbolizes these two years of collaboration, concluding with an exhibition and this special edition.