The Pictures Included in This Envelope.
Photographs by Andrea Ferrari.
Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2014. 106 pp., color illustrations thoughtout, 8¼x10½".
»Readers will have to let go of themselves to understand this work. They will have to forgo the temptation to put a name to things, because Ferrari has little time for the iconic value of photo- graphy. What you see has no value for its primary designation (being a copybook, a box or a ribbon...). Ceci n’est pas une pipe. This is really a trace of something else«.
'The pictures included in this envelope' is Andrea Ferrari’s first major publication. The project was shortlisted for the European Publishers Award and later for the Kassel Dummy Award in 2013.
The work is a visual investigation of a series of objects, photographs and memorabilia found in the house of an unknown Milanese chemist. The collection and the biographical notes of Giulia C., the enigmatic figure at the origin of this work, allow Andrea Ferrari to ponder the topic of a visual alphabet.
As noted by Quentin Bajac in his piece on the book, »Andrea Ferrari surely believes (...) that reality needs to be read like hieroglyphics and that photographic language can also help in deciphering these symbols. Photography to him is a conscious, reflective practice of a system of signs and (...) is linked to semiology, the analysis of signs« .
Combining documentaries and rearrangements, the photographic quest turns the assumed physical space of Giulia C.’s house into a mental one. As the author tells us, »...through collecting, objects gain a sort of camouflage and acquire an aura of enigma. Hidden meanings gain the upper hand over the actual objects. The collection of signs replaces things (...) and the collection of daily objects, by somehow acquiring invisibility, becomes the ideal ground for an archaeology of forms« .