This post is also available in: Italian
Barco, Italy, December 1st 2016
Last night – it was nearly midnight – I was driving among the hills of Reggio Emilia, where I’m currently learning sculpture, for it’s been a while – a couple of years, I guess – since I’ve felt a compelling, physical urge (and mental, too, although one drags the other) to use my hands, get them dirty, touch the matter, feel that I’m alive, create something that will survive an unexpected blackout or technological obsolescence. Something that goes beyond pixels.
The more I look at myself, the more I realize I’m going backwards, as if I were running away from the evolution of society, which I understand less and less, and from whose interferences, I’ve realized, I often get influenced; therefore, I end up going backwards from a physical point of view. More and more. If I broke away from myself and could watch my habits, behaviors, spiritual and unconscious leanings, well, I would definitely see somebody who’s pulling back and hiding in the mountains: not the popular, traveled, touristic mountains, but the woods, the tall peaks, the rocky gulches in Casanova, where there used to be a convent and where the “Lion” lives alone today. I wander through these places, seeking loneliness to save me, just like some clean air beyond a blanket of dirty fog in the Po valley, as if it were the only way to defend myself from the white noise of human society.
Last night I was slowly driving downhill, the air was freezing, the wind was light – although it could easily cut you in two -, it woke you up from the mental numbness gathered during everyday life. I was driving slowly; I left the car window half-open so that I could take benefit from that view and that weather that framed my fantasy and dreams nearly perfectly (at least that’s how I looked at it), as well as my utopias, the same ones I’ve run after and that now make me smile and get me a little pissed off…
I drove downhill and smiled, breathing slowly and deeply, relaxed, since I already knew that I wouldn’t get enough, so I tried to catch – and steal – all that could be caught that night.
I was driving slowly, peacefully, taken with my thoughts, when I suddenly saw an animal on the leaning edge of the road, behind a bend. My brain immediately elaborated the vision of a roe deer, for it’s so common to see them around there at night. It lasted less than one second; soon after, I realized the animal that was standing in front of me was a wolf. It was the first time in my life. I didn’t move, but not because I was afraid: on the contrary, I was in the middle of an emotional storm; that kind of heat that comes unexpected, all of a sudden. I slowed down and stopped the car. The wolf was big, at least that’s what my emotions showed me; but no it was really big. I looked at it and felt a little thrill of fear when it turned towards me, got self-confidently close to my car and passed me by. I stood still for an indefinite period of time, perhaps just a few long seconds, and what I meant to steal that night, that greediness of emotions and impressions, well, I brought it away with me.
Naatsiiat is a Greenlander word that literally means “something one waits so long for, so that it grows”, but it also means “potato”.
Do you understand that, can you gather its destructive strength? Such a brand new perspective, this relationship between life and Greenlanders. Which destroys our Western certainties.
Time, a rhythm that is not imposed, the act of accepting and losing yourself in the natural will. Accepting a future perspective that doesn’t last more than a few days, if you’re lucky and it’s summer, for in winter the abandon is complete and everyday life is set by the will of wind, ice and snow.
This is what I call inspiration. For my photography.