On View: September 4 – October 23, 2021
The Fred Schnider Gallery of Art (888 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA) opens its next exhibit, Photographs 2016-2021 on Saturday, August 4th. Photographs 2016-2021 showcases the work of photographer and installation artist, Roberto Bocci through his two series of work, Coronem Florem and TwiLight Silhouette. Over the years Roberto has used the panoramic format and time-exposure to investigate a variety of subject matter ranging from the artist’s studio, urban and natural environments, and the human body. The two bodies of work in this exhibit explore his overarching ideas of the passage of time as well cycles of birth and decay.
TwiLight Silhouette, Those Who Come and Those Who Leave (TwiLight), is a series shot over an interval of approximately 90 minutes before and after sunset. Twilight Silhouette portrays evening joggers running around the 16th century Medici Fortress located in Siena Italy (Roberto’s home country and city of birth). Their body is often silhouetted against the background sky. The images are loaded with metaphoric and symbolic meaning hovering between Day and Night, Lightness and Darkness, and Being and non-Being. As runners’ loop around the fortress, daylight gradually dims transitioning to nighttime. Runners are portrayed multiple times as they enter (those who come) and leave (those who leave) the picture frame. Their body is often silhouetted against the background sky. The brownish haze in many early evening images, and the over-saturated sunset skylines is partly due to the presence of air pollutants like nitrogen oxide in the atmosphere. The otherworldly skylines and their apparent beauty are a stark reminder that if we continue abusing our environment humans may be heading towards the twilight of their existence on earth. With this series, Roberto continues to experiment with single and composite images that explore ideas of time passage, space, simultaneity, the cyclical nature of existence as well as concerns about the sustainability of life on our planet.
Coronam Florem, was started in March of 2020 during the Corona Virus pandemic lockdown. Roberto started shooting a series of light painting time exposures of flowers entitled Coronam Florem (Latin for Corona Flower). These images are inspired by the ravaging effects the Corona Virus is having on people around the word. It extends experiments Roberto began with the Seizure and Rose series from the 1990s in which the subject photographed was submerged under water and refocused over the duration of the time exposure. In Coronam Florem, flowers, buds and fruits are shot underwater and left to decay. The camera is used to document the biological process of transformation the flowers undergo over time. The title of the work is the name of the flower in Latin followed by the name in English and the date when the image was shot. To create one of these images Roberto shoots 15 to 80 images of the subject as he refocuses the camera from foreground to background. He then processes all the images with a photo stacking application which compiles the stack as a single image with infinite or a specific depth of field and focus. Roberto uses light painting and digital processing to skew the output of the final images allowing the process to generate unpredictable results that inspire new directions and meaning. As in other works of Roberto’s Coronam Florem explores sexuality, cycles of birth, growth, decay and the effects of the elements on biological life. Through the artifice of photography, I am able to generate impossible images that our vision can’t perceive through the naked eye.
About the Artist: Roberto Bocci is a photographer and an installation artist born in Siena, Italy. His practice includes single and composite photographic images, installations, and experimental time-based media works. His artistic concerns encompass multiple points of view and questions of personal identity. Bocci has shown his work in the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia and has been awarded fellowships and grants including a Fulbright Fellowship, a Woodstock Photography Grant, an Arlington County Spotlight Grant and numerous Georgetown University research grants to support his work. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, and works in Washington, DC, where he is a Professor of Digital Art and Photography at Georgetown University.
The Panorama genre and Time exposure lighting techniques provide unique opportunities to experiment with images that become metaphors for the manipulation of space and time. The relationship between time, space, motion and the expanding/contracting nature of these physical entities is an inherent thread in my practice. From Newton’s gravitational laws to Einstein’s Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and String theory, the laws that regulate the nature and evolution of the universe are a constant reference as Roberto interprets the world that surrounds him with his practice.
The Photographs 2016-2021 exhibit runs August 4th through October 23rd, by private tour. Those wanting to view Photographs 2016-2021 are welcome to call the gallery at 301.852.8042 to schedule a private tour of the exhibit within the weekly hours of Thursday-Sunday, 12-7pm.
Fred Schnider Gallery of Art is located at 888 N. Quincy Street, Suite 102, Arlington, VA.