© Chloé Milos Azzopardi
NEW PROJECTS FROM THE PEP COMMUNITY
« Non technological devices » are composite tools made from gleaned natural elements, assembled to mimic the technological devices that populate our daily lives. Between rudimentary productions and science-fiction creations, these objects are as much prolongations of bodies as they are hindrances. Associated with invented artefacts whose use remains to be discovered, they create together a fictional universe that functions as a mirror held up to our fantasies of the future.
"Galicia, a Spanish region in the Northwest, is a territory of myths and superstitions that go back to the night of time. One of these legends is La Santa Compaña, a procession of souls led by a living person with a cross who goes out every night through the woods announcing death. There is only one way to get rid of their curse: meet another living person and give them the cross. In the sepulchral silence that occurs as it appears, it can only be heard from time to time some soul screaming “walk by day because the night is ours!”."
"This project started while I was back at my childhood home taking care of my grandfather Amadeu, during a period my grandmother Maria was at the hospital. The atmosphere of uncertainty regarding the return of my grandmother and all the emotions surrounding that gave me the idea of pursuing these themes and photographing them, in order to understand and digest them."
"This project is composed of a series of photos and a text in which I paint a portrait of the territory where I have lived the longest: the French Southeast. Also called « The French Riviera », this space is a massive touristic destination where important inequalities of wealth cohabit. (...) For a year and a half, I went back and forth between the French Riviera and Limoges. I look for the nocturnal side of this immaculate sky, the mystical nightmare of this shining sea in the images and in the places. The fauna, the flora and the humans cohabit with the carcasses and the smell of burning. This project becomes for me a form of counter-fantasy of this territory, far from the luxurious imaginary, closer to the danger which prowls in the middle of the palm trees."
"I consider three autobiographical stories of my growing up, lining them up into a disturbing narrative and creating my own mythology through an appeal to the image of a celestial whale. In mythology, the celestial whale is depicted as a terrifying monster with three mouths and three heads, tentacles, claws, and the poisonous scorpion. The whale symbolizes the tremendous power, the energy that, once released, might destroy everything it meets on the way. The lowest level of the whale's power is creating chaos, plunging into the abyss. On the highest level the whale destroys everything that is obsolete, interfering and creates the conditions for future evolution.
This project is a kind of therapy, metaphorical cards which helps me to replace childhood traumas, make peace with them, and look for a reflection of myself in them from the present."
In the threshold of reality and symbolism, Francesco Merlini’s series "The Flood" deals with the reminiscence of the disaster that hit Tbilisi in 2015. People died, many families became homeless, a zoo destroyed, and a city in shock. The city became a wilderness full of dangerous beasts. The zoo lost more than 300 animals. An influential head of the Georgian Orthodox Church blamed the floods on the "sin" of the former Communist regime. Which, he said, built the zoo in its current location using money raised from destroying churches and melting down their bells.
The project explores the disparate theories and contradictions around the Nuragic civilization's historiography. This prehistoric Sardinian population existed between 2.300 BC - 200 AD and played a central role in shaping the contemporary identity of the island. The lack of indisputable information about them and the abundance of unresolved hypotheses made room for several myths to emerge, often real traps in the historical narrative which paved the way to bizarre and absurd theories.
The coastal region of Guerrero known as Costa Chica is home to Mexicans descended from African slaves that identify themselves as being “black”. But outside this region they are little-known and they are currently fighting to be officially recognized by the Mexican State. The Costa Chica is also a place rooted in traditional beliefs that include appearances of trolls, the devil and spirit animals.
In her ongoing series Compost, Rhea Gupte photographs weekly still life portraits of the wet waste produced in her home. The installations take on various forms as they are organically frozen over time, as layers of waste pile up, allowing her to play with structure, colour and textures. The end product challenges the idea of the contrived versus the organic, the images indulging in both. The series brings to the forefront the idea of creating art with minimal resources.
‘In Natura’ depicts objects that imitate various aspects of nature. Trees made of concrete, dinosaurs under the highway or hatches in the sky; the use of bizarre materials as well as construction-related flaws lead to an ironic and grotesque impression. Even if there is sometimes a claim to reality, the inappropriately embedded surroundings betray the imitation and reduce these replicas to absurdity.
"Anima Mundi" is a physical journey into the Peruvian Amazon forest, but it could have happened everywhere - even in the imagination. Anima Mundi means to be disoriented when all reference points start to be missing.
It is finding yourself alien in a natural world that you thought was of comfort.
It is learning that a break is not the end but the starting point to recreate your own place in the natural environment.
"Amygdala" refers to the place in the brain where emotional memories are created, stored and processed. Some are strongly anchored in our memory while others become colored over time. Fragments from the past lose their context and their connection with the present gradually fades. By using collages, De Wandel expresses the many layers of memories and makes us think about how we deal with facts and manipulation.
This series documents the incongruous behavior between man and the environment in Sumatra, Indonesia. On the one hand humans destroy virgin forests, wounding and killing animals, while on the other hand they do everything possible to save them. The series has been awarded 2 First Prizes World Press Photo in 2020 in the Nature Stories and Nature Singles categories.