Signs & Remains
November 16 – February 2, 2013
Everyone has a camera today. Pencils and paper, once the tools used to jot down reminders and memories have been supplanted by the cellphone camera. Language is evolving from the written word to the impromptu snapshot. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook reach hundreds, thousands, millions, in a flash. The work of Paola Ferrario trades our conceit for the formal expectations of art photographs for a uniquely personal impression of the world. Her pictures are an intensely quixotic and obsessive catalogue of discarded, distended details painstakingly gathered like orphans amidst a crowd of clearer appeal. It is the quietude in her pictures that make them so compelling. If we expect things to happen in photographs then her pictures will disappoint. Her surgical distillation of any occurrence makes them reverberate with the suggested rhythms of an unseen world, the ghostly shadows of what passed by. To imply action she strings sister images together based on their own oddities, their own uniqueness. Ferrario’s photographs celebrate the cry of the anonymous, the stance of one against a mob. They are as selfless as pictures can be without fading away. Paola Ferrario’s subjects belong to no one and everyone, and are found everywhere. Beyond her sly humor, there is the melancholic pang of abandonment, the trash and detritus of post-modern, pre-apocalyptic culture, the signs and remains of which appear to anyone willing to look.