The project Landscapes consists of a series of photographs taken from the sea. Viewed together, the images suggest a continuous view of the coast as a single extended landscape, seemingly real. In fact, these spaces are not consecutive at all but far from each other and contain widely varied subjects: walls, trees, cities, forests, beaches, industrial zones. Despite their actual distance, the images are bound due to their shared position on the horizon.

The images are intended to be “modular.” In other words, they can be moved and rearranged in different visual sequences to form endless landscapes. Thus, the goal of this work is to reflect on the complex and continuous transformations of our environment. The changing relationship between built and natural forms is what gives shape to our contemporary world.

—LUCA LUPI

The concept of (cultural) landscape is a fifteenth-century invention. By definition, landscape is that part of the territory embraced by the gaze from a certain point of view. But what happens when the landscape is devoid of reference points? The absolute landscapes are what Stefano Bevacqua calls: the sea, the sky, the desert. “They contain only themselves”, lack points of reference, challenge our perceptual abilities since our eyes cannot embrace the immensity, there are no clues to define a beginning and an end, they reveal their own boundlessness and our contemporary limit.

ILARIA MARIOTTI

If we attempted to name what the photographs of Luca Lupi – including those here – represent the list would begin and end quickly: clouds, sea, sky, mountains, coast, birds in flight, snow, trees, lightning, cities, walls. Sometimes the titles help to redefine the geographical boundaries, identify places. Give us the comfort of the “where”.

But then, looking at them, one has the impression that the issues of time and space are not measured through the surface of the image and its sequencing with respect to a geographical before and after, but rather in respect to a depth and to a three-dimensionality that builds space and time. And that duration rests upon on the many details that are highlighted: foam, the velvety surface of the waves, types of clouds, leaves.

Quantity often gives a sense of randomness: flocks of birds, snowflakes.

The sequence sometimes turns into a comparison with a before and after to which one gives temporal coordinates: the image is layered in a given time. The time of a wave, of a bolt of lightning. Sequences adjustable but elusive. Traces of events.

—ILARIA MARIOTTI

In one frame (which is the first cut of the image) nothing takes place. But this nothing is at the same time the result of and creates memory by virtue of a fundamental ambiguity: it can relate to the time of the event, the space generated by transient events (light brings forth angles and builds surfaces), the overlap of sea and skyline, clouds that on closer inspection seem like waves, waves that seem like sky. And, through progressive approaches and retreats, substance is denied to concrete things (cities, coastlines), and ascribed to the less concrete. Homes and buildings are captured through curtains, there is a certain pleasure in indefinite misty landscapes, sharp subjects are undefined, objects and events are projected in an archetypal dimension affording us the experience of them and through them of subjective time and space.

—ILARIA MARIOTTI

Luca Lupi was born in Pontedera (Pisa) in 1970. He started to work as a photographer in 1995. He has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions around the world. He currently lives in Fucecchio (Firenze).

Prints from the series Landscapes are available in an edition of 6 from the nineteensixtyeight shop.

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