Monica Carocci

The photographer of dreamlike and surreal images

By La Galleria Nazionale

Otti 02 (2007) by Monica CarocciLa Galleria Nazionale

From The Lotus Sutra, chapter 12

At that time Śāriputra spoke to the daughter of the nāga king, saying: “You say that you will soon attain the highest path. This is difficult to believe. Why is this? The female body is polluted; it is not a fit vessel for the Dharma. How can you attain the highest enlightenment?

“The buddha path is long. One can only attain it after diligently carrying out severe practices, and completely practicing the perfections over immeasurable kalpas.

Moreover, the female body has five obstructions: the first is the inability to become a great Brahma.

The second is the inability to become Śakra.

The third is the inability to become Māra, and the fourth is the inability to become a universal monarch (cakravartin).

The fifth is the inability to become a Buddha. How can you with your female body quickly become a buddha?”

Then the daughter of the nāga king presented to the Buddha a jewel worth the great manifold cosmos, and the Buddha accepted it. The daughter of the nāga king spoke to Bodhisattva Prajñākūṭa and the noble Śāriputra, saying: “I offered a jewel and the Bhagavat accepted it. Was that done quickly or not?”

They answered, saying: “It was done extremely quickly!” The daughter said: “Through your transcendent powers watch me become a buddha even more quickly than that!”

Monica Carocci
(Rome, 1966. She lives and works in Turin.)

Monica Carocci does not conceive photography as an instrument of technical and formal perfection, rather her artistic work focuses on the ultimate image, the result of successive pictorial manipulations, abrasions, additions, erasures, chromatic variations, and finally fixed by a last shot and a last black and white print.

Her work ranges on many themes, from geometric and symmetrical representations of the urban environment to the human figure, portraits, natural landscapes, animals.

Her works are very far from the claimed objectivity of photography, in fact the outlines are never defined, places are uncertain and without clear physiognomy.

Otti 03 (2007) by Monica CarocciLa Galleria Nazionale

The space, scanned horizontally and vertically, is animated by the interventions that the artist makes on the film of the negative and on the paper of a first print in reduced size, which is subsequently re-photographed and reprinted enlarged.

Her images are dreamlike and surreal, snapshots of memories that resurface from the depth of the unconscious, moments suspended in that timeless time that belongs to memories.

The big cat, the giraffe, the dancer, the flowers and the buildings represent a sleepwalking excursion into an indefinite and surreal space, some sort of parallel world created by the artist who thus crystallizes and reconstructs the moments of her life.

The sense of evanescence is accentuated even more by tears and breaks, which often wear down the edges of the baryta photo paper used as a support.

A fluid and dreamlike magma of times and places cut out and unhinged against their original dimensions becomes the subjects of a visionary and poetic flow in which the metropolitan landscape and the natural one, animals and human beings intersect each other.

“Everything becomes a vision and a symbol in a suspended dimension, always on the verge of vaporizing into another, like an epiphany. It rises to an elsewhere that can only be an outer space. Streets, city skylines, interiors and exteriors, flowers, animals, human figures. They are experiences, emotions, sensations, memories. Flashes in whose glow different suggestions appear."

"A dancer is an architecture, a jaguar a man, a flower a doorway, a giraffe a feeling. Black and white, darkness and light are osmotic and intimate conditions, coming into direct contact with the viewer’s unconscious.

Any works by Monica offers an introspective map segment of her own uncertain lands”.

Paola Ugolini

Credits: Story

Paola Ugolini
Works cited:
The Lotus Sutra (Berkeley: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research, 2009), p. 184.
https://www.singulart.com/it/artista/monica-carocci-1439#interview
Olga Gambari, Testo Critico su Monica Carocci in occasione della personale dell’artista dal titolo Outer Space nella Galleria Francesca Antonini Arte Contemporanea, Roma 13 giugno-30 settembre 2017

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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