“Sicily. A Desire for Void to Exist”, Diego Perez.
In the collective imagination - particularly outside Italy - Sicily is a famous tourist spot, an island known for its sea, for its cities and its archaeological heritage and its culinary delights. But if we look beyond that, if we broaden our horizons, if we open our eyes and study what young Italian architect and great photography and painting enthusiast Diego Perez has to show us, a whole new world in the Sicilian hinterland is revealed. This discovery presents us with the communicative power of photography, even when it records a void. However, what this photographer gives us not a void of form, but a perceptive void, which of course is full of emotions.
Indeed, Diego Perez calls his study “Sicily. A Desire for Void to Exist” and the pictures he has shared with us, his output after long trips into the Sicilian countryside, immortalise the landscapes whose visual impact reference metaphysical pictures, where thought and history unite in a kind of time warp, forcing the observer to think and to wonder.
The sights shot by Diego Perez totally wow you - they look like they've come from the palette of De Chirico - uncovering that void like the paintings of the famous Italian-Greek painter. Here, the physical - or metaphysical - objects are old farm buildings dotted across the space; they are signs of human activity bringing into existence that feeling of emptiness, which adds so much depth to the creative surface of the photograph, invading and engaging the intimacy of the observer.
In these pictures, the boundless country horizons, nature shaped by man, become the actual canvas of our projections, where it would be so easy to lose our way if the photographer's project were not there to guide our eyes. This is how he draws us in, how he engages our interior self - all without turning it into some kind of dreamscape. So, the absence of presence in the silent photos of Diego Perez is filled by introspection, by a desire to go beyond, soul searching that runs wild when faced with the immensity of nature, the inclement heat, the trees bent over by the wind, the perfume released by the warm land of Sicily.
It's no coincidence that modern physics does not classify the void as pure nothingness, but rather it is an elusive substrate, which generates all forms of energy and matter. Through the lens of Diego Perez, the void very respectively claims its right to exist.
Christiane Bürklein (@chrisbuerklein)