Photolux Festival 2022 | YOU CAN CALL IT LOVE


21.05.2022 – 12.06.2022

Ancient Greek used different terms to define the possible declinations of love: Eros, the passionate desire; Philia, love between friends; Storge, the affection for one’s family; Anteros, reciprocated love; Himeros, the physical desire; Pothos, the tension towards what we desire; Thélema, the pleasure in what you do; and Agape, unconditional and universal love.

Most modern languages ​​are not so precise and often, as Calvino noted in his American Lessons, today there is a tendency to “level the expression on the more generic, anonymous, distracted formulas, in order to dilute the meanings, to smooth out the expressive peaks and extinguish any spark from the clash of words under new circumstances “. The lexicon at our disposal seems, out of modesty or inadequacy, unable to outline effectively the kaleidoscope of feelings that life offers us every, inevitably compressing the many shades of what, for convenience, we are used to call Love. But if it is easy to get tangled up with words and get lost in the elaboration of abstract concepts, photography can instead help us reconstruct the subtext of the conventional and domestic narrative of love. First of all, because the photographic medium does not express itself in universal terms, but does so through visual suggestions that resonate in us according to our personal experience; secondly, because through the grammar of images it is possible to construct subtle narratives, which elude definitions, revealing new levels of reading and new interpretations. Ultimately, photography returns a layered and polyform representation of Love, and it is precisely in the multiplicity of photographic language that end up the infinite possibilities of the “ lover’s discourse” of which Barthes spoke: a fragmentary issue, as it is complex, but necessary and, in its elusiveness, omnipresent in the life of each of us.

From family portraits that give back an image of the society in which they were taken, to the romantic stories that have characterized every era – sometimes revealing its contradictions as well -, love has accompanied photography in its rapid and tumultuous development. And while photography changed, our way of telling and experiencing Love has also changed: in fact, visual language has increasingly become one of the ways in which we communicate and establish relationships with others and with ourselves. In everyday life, photography teaches us to love ourselves, to lose ourselves and to forget ourselves; in a nutshell, it guides us in expressing our feelings without expecting to define them or label them.

The selection of authors in the 2022 edition of Photolux Festival presents the multiplicity of possible approaches – some new and contemporary, others more classic and traditional – to the theme of love, which translate into unique and different stories and encounters, where we all can find a little bit of ourselves .

With the exhibition proposal of “You can call it Love” we thought of photography no longer as a mirror or as a window – citing Szarkowski’s historical distinction -, but as an x-ray machine, capable of seeing through us and giving voice to some sensations, desires, emotions that we don’t even know we have.


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