Eye

fine-art giclée classic, variable dimensions,  2007

2007  Marella - Max Mara Fashion Group won the Award “Sole 24Ore” at the tenth edition of the Enterprise and Culture Prize with the project “Meeting of Fashion, Dance and Photography” and to whom has participated with Fabian’s photo exhibition “Eye” Aterballetto - Venice, Italy. This series of images has been  protagonist of over 20 exhibitions in Europe and Asia, including theaters, galleries and festivals, supported by Max Mara Fashion Group.

"The sky is the daily bread of the eyes»: this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson can partly explain why in this still unknown series of images by Fabian, the blue of the sky is a constant presence, like that of human bodies, which still remain the subject and major focus of the lens. The American poet seems to be telling us, in a clever and ironic way, that our eyes are made not for looking ahead, but above us, and this should not be taken literally. According to ancient philosophers, the «above» was in fact the place of the depth and divine concept of beauty. And there is no doubt that Fabian, who here makes two opposites live side by side, the human body – symbol of finiteness par excellence – and the infiniteness of the sky, has created her own particular and very poetic oxymoron, as if she wanted to say: the shameless perfection of dance, of love, rhythm, strength and the vital intertwining of young limbs deserves that glorious stage, that magnificent backdrop.

In her recent, very beautiful photographs, Fabian sticks closely to the Terpsichore theme, which she takes up once more and which she began in her previous series of Corpi all’infinito. Agile bodies, full of graceful energy, dance and hover, standing out against a clear and bright, cloudless sky, enclosed in a triple «eye». The eye of the artist; the eye of the lens; and the oculo, the round window of the aerial architecture of the bridge built by Santiago Calatrava which crosses the so-called “Motorway of the Sun” just outside Reggio Emilia: a round opening, inspired by those of the small fifteenth century temples, in which we can see dancers with strong athletic bodies performing gymnastic acrobatics, both individually and in pairs, united in a passionate, sensual embrace, as taut as the steel ropes of the braces which climb up to the clouds, suspending the bridge between the earth and the sky. As the backdrop for her new recognition of bodily glory and dance, Fabian has chosen an immense, candid harp which is ‘suspended’ in the air, a technological structure created by a top architect. In this setting, dance, which is the foremost of all arts and the Dionysian act par excellence, lives alongside a bold icon of modern times, uniting the primordial and the modern day, artistic performance and science, in a parsimonious yet colourful crystal ball of whites, blues, greys, carnation pink and light greens.

In these images which are sculptured by light and dark, the three oculi or “eyes” – the conscience of Fabian, the optical eye of the camera and the architectural eye – are all metaphors of each other; they form a game of mirrors and reference marks within which she captures, with unmatched formal elegance, moments of poetry of the body and nature linked to the leit-motiv of dance.

Yet in this series of photographs, the backdrop or rather the stage of harmonious steps and gestures, which are captured in their happiness by the gaze of an international artist who has chosen her own land of Emilia as the location and backstage of new visions and new refined pages, is set not only by the bridge of Calatrava, but also the historic squares and streets of Reggio Emilia, the countryside and the poplar groves in Reggio Emilia.

Fabian shows a deep knowledge of the formal languages of our era and those used by the media, above all those used by photography and fashion journalism, which she has knowingly re-interpreted by original research and results. However, she does not use any special devices for her work: she continues to relive the ancient mystery of photography. It poses the reality to disguise it with new and astonishing beauty. For Fabian, the image or aesthetic form already exists in reality: it is simply a question of looking for and uncovering this image with the inquisitive eye of the explorer. Everything is an image. On the other hand the famous incipit of the John’s Gospel (En arché en o logos, «In the beginning was the verb») reminds us how the conceptual idea comes before the object, because beauty is innate, an archetype of the human mind. All the etymology connected with the creative act of seeing confirms the possibility of a transformation, as happens in alchemy, guided by the creative action of the oculo. The Latin imaginor is a verb which describes a subtle activity of the mind and imagines were ghosts, illusionary apparitions, including the echo of sounds and – more specifically – mirror reflections. These magnificent photographs of Fabian are the pure results of vision, obtained by giving back to us that sublime air of persons, models and dancers. Fabian is a photographer with a pedigree: her gaze captures images directly, without the use of any technological instruments, but by intuition and a mysterious elective affinity, as shown by the almost Renaissance pureness of this charming suite of images. A purist of the lens, Fabian does not exclude, however, formal research which is made possible by electronics and digital processing, pursuing artificial and sensual effects. This was evident in a very recent series of shots taken of landscapes and dancers’ bodies along the river Enza in her native town, some of which were characterised by a bright, dominating red and others by an optical illusion, almost of ‘plasticized’ bodies, all obtained using the computer.

In Fabian’s works, the (technical) instrument is, however, always subordinate to the purpose, which is that noble purpose of handing back the poetic aspect which is hidden in the shapes and movement; the “marvellous” aspect of a real world which gains another intellectual dimension – extremely modern, in which we can all identify ourselves – and which confirms what Roland Barthes says in his Fragments of a Lover’s Discourse: «…The essence of photography is not portray, but to bring back to mind»".

 

Domenico Montalto

"In these beautiful new images by Fabian, young, sinuous bodies full of graceful energy dance and release themselves against a crisp, clear, luminous sky, captured in a second “eye”. The eye of the photo lens and the ocolus of the aerial architecture of the bridge of Santiago Calatrava that stretches across the Motorway Autostrada del Sole to Reggio Emilia. This round opening was inspired by small Renaissance temples, giving us a glimpse of the lithe and weightless male and female dancers held in an embrace as tight as the chords of the bridge stays that stretch to the clouds, suspending the bridge between the earth and heavens. It is an enormous, pure-white harp resting in the air. In these images, sculpted by light and backlight, the camera’s eye and the architectural eye are each a metaphor of the other; they play off each other with reflections and references in which, with incomparable formal elegance, Fabian captures moments of the body’s poetry and nature bound to the theme of dance. In this cycle of photographs, in addition to the bridge of Calatrava, the historic squares and streets of Reggio Emilia, the countryside and poplars of the area around the city that serve as a backdrop – or more precisely, a stage – for graceful movements and steps, captured in their deftness by the eye of an artist who has chosen her own land as a site for new visions."

 

Domenico Montalto

"A great passion for studying the body: the body when still, the body in motion, the body in shadow or lit up. Always and ever incapable of containing within the emotion that it inevitably manifests. This is the first thing that comes to mind when I look at Fabian’s work: that in her images there are trees, the sea or dance, and the essence of their corporeity remains exactly the same, both in the pure physical and material sense, and in its vital expression, full of meaning.

With her images, Fabian tells a new story every time recounted by her gaze, which even exploring completely different contexts, makes itself absolutely recognizable.

I feel very connected to Fabian and her work, as an artist and especially as a choreographer as I recognize in her work the poetry and sensuality of movement that I seek every day."

 

Mauro Bigonzetti

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