Daniela De Lorenzo

The body as object and subject of research

Distrazione (2000) by Daniela De LorenzoLa Galleria Nazionale

Bodies are always on the point of departure, in the imminence of a movement, of a fall, of an escape, of a disruption... that instant in which a certain body makes room only for that opening of the space that it is... somehow it puts itself aside, withdraws into itself, leaving, however, this space “behind it”, that is, Al posto suo (In its place), and this place remains its own, absolutely intact and truly abandoned.
Jean-Luc Nancy

Distrazione (2000) by Daniela De LorenzoLa Galleria Nazionale

Rethinking the very concept of self-portrait by getting rid of certain elements of one’s personal identity... I used myself as the subject and object of an investigation in which a performative micro-act at the origin of the work takes centre stage. Simple gestures such as turning around, moving away or letting yourself fall, exercises that record my balance in more or less precarious stability... a knowledge of the body that transforms into language.

Working on the gesture as the manifestation of a will, the emergence of a necessity on the surface, but above all as the aspect for which we escape from ourselves.

By activating a suspended time/movement, a kind of instantaneous duration that takes time away from the logic of an irreversible change.

Distrazione (2000) by Daniela De LorenzoLa Galleria Nazionale

Without distinction between perceiving and being perceived, with a contemplative and inattentive gaze that investigates above all the sensitive aspect. Perception as a theoretical thought of what reality is as such and in relation to the various possibilities, lead me towards a search for the invisible.

Imagine (obtain) a distraction in front of the photographic lens. A sudden movement of the head at the moment of the shot transforms the snapshot into a dilated moment providing consistency to what is normally unseen.

Questioning recognition through action and highlighting the trajectory of a gesture made inevitable by an emergency. A continuous movement of the face to ‘lose’ one's face by erasing it, thus going beyond the limits of the subject.

The impossibility of revealing the subject as a unique identity, alluding to the double meaning of ‘pulling back’ and ‘portraying oneself’, a necessary condition for becoming the object of one’s gaze. Identity portrayed, identical to its portrayal.

Daniela De Lorenzo

Ritrarsi (2003) by Daniela De LorenzoLa Galleria Nazionale

Daniela De Lorenzo
(Florence, 1959)

The body is the object and subject of Daniela De Lorenzo’s research, who constantly reactivates the meaning of sculptural work, in relation to the exploration of different languages, such as photography, video and performance, and identifies in the processuality the possibility of investigating the form, following its continuous evolutions.

De Lorenzo investigates in photography gaze and vision, linking them to the procedures of doubling, superimposition and metamorphosis.

The artist seeks something “subtle” and “different”, “unexpected” within a familiar face.

A hidden and invisible sense of the image as a continuous investigation of a “look inside” and an impossibility of univocal representation of the subject, in the dialectic that is established between showing oneself and withdrawing.

Small gestures and distractions during the making of the photo shoot – like a movement of the head – place the portrait and self-portrait in a dilated temporality that dissolves their recognizability, bringing out ambiguity, overturning, the indefinable.

Distrazione (2000) by Daniela De LorenzoLa Galleria Nazionale

Distrazione (Distraction) is precisely the title of a series of self-portraits in which, as Saretto Cincinelli observes, the attempt is “to give consistency to the meantime, to the invisible of the in-between, to a becoming that does not become, that does not cease to end and does not finish starting, and thus it seems incessantly modulating the image rather than shaping it.”

Ritrarsi (2003) by Daniela De LorenzoLa Galleria Nazionale

The title Ritrarsi alludes to the double meaning of the Italian word: “withdrawing” and "portraying oneself", necessary conditions for investigating one’s gaze. The work consists of four photographs, four color self-portraits, taken keeping the camera’s aperture open and long shutter speeds, which capture the movement of the subject into an image that never becomes definitive and clear.

“The artist seemingly wants to affirm – writes Bettina Della Casa – the impracticability of the revelation of the subject as a unique identity [...] to privilege its structure, its former position, outside, behind or before”.

Lara Conte

Credits: Story

Daniela De Lorenzo and Lara Conte
Works cited:
D. De Lorenzo, In dialogo, in “Artext”, http://www.artext.it/Artext/Daniela-de-Lorenzo.html
S. Cincinelli, Infeltrire il tempo, in Encara de Nou, catalogo della mostra (Valencia, La Gallera, 2008), a cura di Alba Braza
B. Della Casa, presentazione, in L’identico e il differente, catalogo della mostra (Como, Associazione Culturale Borgovico 33, 2003), a cura di B. Della Casa, Como 2003, p. 4

Credits: All media
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