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Self Portraits (2010-2013)

by Giacomo Brunelli 


"I started working on the Self Portraits series in the summer 2010.

While shooting in Italy looking for animals to photograph in the countryside, I looked through the camera and saw a reflection of my shadow on an unpaved road against a mountain. 

It was a clear day and I was not far from the place where I was born in Umbria.

From that moment, I decided to build a project on myself. No more people or animals to chase, no more sneak shots of strangers, all I needed now was right in front of me, still, posed, shouting for me to just press the button.

So for three years and hundreds of sunny days, I wandered around the countrysides of Italy and the United Kingdom, posing different shadow positions in front of the camera.

As the project progressed, I started to construct my pictures as though the shadows were an integrated element of the landscape that were coming to life because of my interaction with the environment. 

Working with a removable viewfinder camera, a Miranda that once belonged to my father, the photographs were taken from a waist level perspective, casting my reflection onto natural, organic surfaces as grass, soil, rocks, hay, plants and trees. 

I loved working with these textures and the way they responded to my presence and what they gave back in return, was continually fascinating.

I came across many different surfaces: green and leafy, white and rocky, yellow and grassy, brown and woody.

It was the act of casting my black presence onto colours and shapes that kept me shooting images.

Seeing my shadows distorting, taking form and coming to life against the sunshine, was like being in my darkroom, printing with hands and body, under the light of the enlarger.  

Moving around while taking pictures of my shadow was like marking the territory, exploring a new, fragile dimension made out of nothing but light”

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