13 - 17 June 2017
My collaboration with Enzo Obiso began a long time ago. And over the years our discontinuous albeit close collaboration has given rise to exhibitions, publications and joint projects. The latest of these shared moments, La casa di Francesco, was completed in 2106. It is a photographic portfolio dedicated to Francesco Casorati and perfectly reflects the unwavering consistency and precision characteristic of Enzo's work.
This small series of twelve black and white photographs is a discrete retrospective account of the art and painting of a dearly departed friend, narrated through the spaces and tools of his trade rather than the finished work. Far from the pressure of market forces and any other secondary inputs that might detract from an accurate portrayal of the poise and unassuming beauty that typified his approach to life, it is a narration of silence, a song of absence.
As he gradually homes in on the intimate core of Francesco Casorati's creativity, Obiso's approach becomes one of subtraction. In other words: the artist’s primary intention is that of distilling the intensely meaningful elements from the indistinct sea of shared meaning. This is what drove him to work transversely and indirectly, focusing his attention first and foremost on the idea of home and studio, where home means a place for being and a place that will always be inhabited by this being. And we like to think that Francesco would share our perspective on this meaning.
The twelve photographs on show were taken between June and September 2013 in Francesco Casorati’s last studio (the same used by his father, Felice, and his mother, Daphne); they breathe the same atmosphere that was and still is, today, typical of these rooms that have remained a sort of refuge tucked away far from the ever-changing flux of life in the nearby city centre.
Both of us portray the spaces differently: Enzo does so with his bold contrasts that ably capture the moment, so typical of his photography, whereas I use words to tell the story of the curious bond which grew between me and Francesco over the years. First and foremost in this little tribute is Francesco, the soul of this place for such a long time, and then the spaces that contained his dreams and fantasies, experiments and regrets, colours and shadows.
A special thanks to Paola and all the other people who collaborated on this project.
Enzo Obiso (Campobello di Mazara, 1954) has dedicated his life to photography since the mid-70s. His work has been exhibited in private galleries and museums in Italy and abroad, and is documented in many books and monographs, including: India (Monica Smith Editore, Torino, 1990); Ritratti di beata bellezza, (Guido Costa Ed., Torino, 1993); Enzo Obiso (Edizioni Toselli, Milano, 2003); Invito (Cardi Edizioni, Milano, 1996); A occhi nudi (Corso Venezia otto, Milano, 2005); Tempo ideale (Edizioni d’Arte Fratelli Pozzo, 1999). He lives and works in Turin.