Visual aphorisms


All we need is Black & White. Such a statement sounds funny in a world like our own, so saturated and full of colors. Colors are everywhere in fashion, advertisement, graphic, even dreams: color is compulsory. We desire through colors, the blue of the sea, the green of the valley, the yellow of the desert's sand, the red of  the tropical sunsets and so on. This means a lot to us even if sea is no longer blue, nor valley green, we have not seen ever a desert (and we do not like hot weather, anyway) and read everyday about tropical catastrophes such as Haiti's earthquake, Jamaica's bloody clashes, tsunami etc. But all these things happen at another level, on the newspaper for instance, in black&white. While we insist our colorful dreams come true somewhere else, in full color. Same we could say about beautiful women and men, objects of sexual desires and mythical wishes or fantasies. They are all compressed in a surface, in a flat image that does not preserve anything of them but shiny, one-faced colors. That's why we desperately need black & white, in other words the depth of emotions, the reality of feelings and occurrences, the multi-faced aspects of life. Eva Petrič's art helps us: above the evidence of colored cliches she super-imposes the ambiguity of black and white transparent images that keep all the nuances of greys, all the complexity of the situations we face, all the depth that esthetic emotions require to be such.

Eva Petrič's project, Shadows&Puppets, language of E@motion RE-acting, is meant particularly to investigate into the capability of color photography to express emotions and meanings. The artist's presumption is that color images are saturated, overwhelmed with emotions and, because of that, they just became cliches, as seductive as empty. That's why she proceeds to "reconstruct" the potential of the color image to convey feelings and emotions systematically superimposing black and white images to them and so creating a "shadow effect", or, better, a "veil effect" that preventing the viewer to fully appreciating what he/she is looking to, stimulates his/her curiosity, comprehension and esthetic sensitivity.

Instead of merely confronting color images versus black and white ones, Eva Petric is experimenting a synthesis of the two, which tackles the very nature of what we see and what we know in a photographic image, as well as our expectations both in esthetic and emotional terms. The effect is  made stronger by the choice of subjects: it is always and only self-portraits. A full colors image of the artist in different camouflages (as sex symbol, fairy-tale style, etc) forms the first layer, above which the shadow of her own body or parts of it are superimposed in such a way to create an ambiguous, provocative or contradictory feeling.                                                                                                     

Prof. Martina Corgnati, curator and professor of art history, Academy of fine arts, Torino, Italy

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