Matrimonio (Wedding), 2016-2017
Photography, video, sound
Wedding photography has its codes, its rites. Town, church, bouquets, sparkling wine, cake and buffet are among the steps that must be respected along the path of happiness, which is adorned with scenery, promenades at sunset or melancholy ruins, a future with a twilight horizon. Each sequence must be immortalized in photography so that those moments remain engraved in the memory as are the names within the exchanged faiths.
Like the silver cutlery given to the wedding ̶ the metal on which the first photographs were engraved ̶ the most beautiful day of life, what we would like to be like this, festive and luminous, nevertheless slips slowly into the shadows of daily collapse. Memories and photographs fade while love languishes. Cruel alchemy that sees gold become lead, the wedding dress extinguishes as dim the light of the lamp. What then runs through the surface of the image reveals the drowning, the floating ghost. Which of the two after the divorce will keep those photographs that have suddenly become strangers? What goes away, what remains, the one that still loves? Divorce photography still needs to be invented.
Marilisa Cosello has decided since some years to question the photographic archive: the first of her own family chronicle in which the mysteries and doubts emerge for those who can read the lightning of childhood, the summers on the beaches of the Adriatic, the costumes at parties medium or birthdays in the garden. Marriage, are the archives of others, collected during a trip abroad, reproduced and reworked to give them a new reading, denying photography any definitive character. Far from yielding to the temptation of the hunt for the vernacular image that is very fashionable today in the world of photography, these photographs are the material of a reflection on the destiny of women, the stereotypes to which everything forces or leads them.
The document here fades in front of the demonstration: she shoots them again; underexposing them, interprets them and resumes them as a spectacle whose recreation would give one's sense, opposing to the certainty of the image the precariousness of its destiny. The existence of those who were once imprinted upon us, of which we will know nothing but that appearance that vanishes, will perhaps betray the image, abandoning it without regrets. And yet no stride, there is no desperation in the path of Marilisa Cosello, no lesson to inflict. There remains only the flagrant finding of the transience of those images composed in the present but conjugated to an uncertain future.
Director of the Musée de la Photographie in Charleroi