Monica Carocci, Beyond the Visible

A look at the aesthetics of the territory

By La Galleria Nazionale

RAI 4 (1997) by Monica CarocciLa Galleria Nazionale

Technical experimentation

Photographer, born in Rome in 1966, Turinese by adoption. Monica Carocci's artistic research expands beyond the horizons of the visible element. Alienating landscapes where temporal reality seems to give way to nuanced and suspensive atmospheres.

For Carrocci, photography is a means to experiment. The initial image of reality is only a starting point for subsequent pictorial manipulations, scratches, abrasions and tears until the desired emotional impression is achieved.

Against the image homologation

The portrayed subject undergoes a sort of metamorphosis generated by the artist mental abstraction who wants to escape the technological sector of images, abused by the infinite reproductions relaunched by the media, social networks and advertising messages.

Black and White

Implementing a strict choice of black and white, skilfully orchestrated on the play of chiaroscuro variations, Carocci's shots aim to focus attention on the essentialness of the external message, discarding the details that usually accompany the whole frame.

The abrasion of the contours erases a part of the details deemed superfluous, the calibrated introduction of shades incorporates overlapping errors. Irregularities that make up a mosaic of carefully chiselled pieces that grant the whole a value of resolute expressive self-determination.

Soft surfaces

The effect of timelessness emerges and in the dark room, through repeated development procedures on a particular baryta paper support that the artist uses for printing.

A paper that, maintaining the same aspect of a silver salt print, amplifies the expressive potential of the image: it makes it possible to achieve deep blacks, enhance the neutral tones, complement the nuances of the photo, while giving a graininess and roughness that removes sharpness to the edges helping to create those characteristic suspended atmospheres.

“I found myself in non-places through my research: they came to me.”


In the Turin context where she was instructed between the Eighties and Nineties, Carocci, influenced by the work of Luigi Ghirri, stands out in directing the gaze towards the aesthetics of the territory, putting aside the glossy and impeccable photography typical of those years.

The problematic function attributed to the landscape habitat emerges in the multiple shots by Carocci dedicated to suburban and peripheral contexts with solitary glimpses of motorways or theories of street lamps on road links, which together with the open countryside on tree-lined paths or the depictions of city monuments attest to the desertification of human presence, taking on anonymous and impersonal significance.


Looking at the world through Carocci's works foretells the re-appropriation of an ability to observe, shying away from a linear interpretation of visual reality. The dematerialisation of images highlights the issue of perceptual mediation and introspective feeling, which turns the work into a mirror of subjective consciousness.

Credits: All media
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