La Chambre claire

The title of this research is taken from Roland Barthes’ book “Chambre claire”.

From both a personal and analytical point of view, Roland Barthes draws our attention to seemingly minor details, and in this way gives us a different and more precise perception of photographic images and their very significance.

This new method of observation paved the way for modern art criticism, in which semiotics – from the Greek ‘semeion’– has become the cornerstone.

Thanks to this analytical enquiry Roland Barthes has succeeded in enlarging the perception of signs and , what is more, in bringing to the forefront the signifier as opposed to the obvious signified, distance as opposed to immediate emotions, and reason as opposed to pathos. We could also say , in reference to psychology, he has highlighted repressed thoughts as opposed to conscious thinking.

This project aims at accounting for these relations. Our perception of the lighted windows in this exhibition is an equivalent of the photographic medium itself, i.e. the camera obscura which lets in a crack of light to expose a film. The dark background around the windows is like the photographic camera, in that it makes room for the emotional side, so to speak, of the inner inhabited space of the room.

The voyeurism which is inherent to the camera, is rid of any reference and context, the signified becomes neutral, and it only records the atmosphere which is created here by the warm light which bathes domestic space. What is suggested by the evidence of living, beyond personal objects such as shirts, nightgowns, books, etc. is reinterpreted and integrated into the exhibition itself thanks to sound : the hubbub of the conversations of the visitors on the first day will be recorded by a mike/loop/amplifier system and will be replayed during the projection of ‘night domestic scenes’ as the soundtrack of an instant of life, a fragment of memory.

The visitors’ actions themselves will be recorded without their knowing it, while remaining anonymous, so that the spectator becomes here an actual actor and participates in the progress of the work, as I have already experimented in exhibitions, such as ‘Potlatch’ or ‘Locus conclusus’.

Giuseppe Fabris
Municipal Art Gallerie of Mykonos 21-10-2015