Photographs by Paolo Ventura. Text by Eugenia Parry.
Aperture, New York, 2009. 120 pp., 65 color illustrations, 11½x14".
In this luxuriously produced limited edition, Paolo Ventura invents an imaginative
series of photographs depicting scenes from the memory banks of an old
circus performer as he looks back on his life.What the performer revisits are not
moments of great drama, but rather fleetingly recalled glimpses of an everyday
life,“images that he had thought to have never seen, quick moments he
unknowingly observed as he raised his eyes to the clock hung at the corner of
the block.” Using his own childhood memories, beautiful miniature figures and
sophisticated sets, Ventura re-envisions a simpler time in 1930s Italy, but his
darker vision—with its shadowy backdrops and retreating figures—reminds us
that this is not quite Eden. Skillfully crafted and hauntingly evocative, the work
is filled with the sweet melancholy of an era, but remains timeless in its ability
to resonate with contemporary audiences. This monograph contains an engaging
sequence of images, ephemera from Ventura’s working process and a selection
of the artful drawings he creates as guides to his elaborate sets.