edoardo pasero – half life

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Edoardo Pasero

Half Life

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Half Life is a personal project that is born of two needs; photographically narrate my life, thus building a kind of extended self portrait composed of several blocks, the individual images, not so much through withdrawal pictures of myself as in pictures of what I see around me and trying to make so my identity. Secondly, the desire to devote myself to a photographic project that I do not put thematic or stylistic limits, a “place” where to express freely the possibilities of the medium and the pure desire to take photos and frame. 

The images are in sequence but my desire is that the series can be seen stirring the pieces, just as the mind does with the memories, wear temporal references, as well Bergson describes the concept of “duration”. I also decided not to give the viewer any information or description about the time, so I hope that the work can thus de-personalized and take a more “universal” so that the viewer has the possibility of getting lost and imagined.

To cite Minor White, “life is like a cinema of stills”.

Half Life is the juice of the last two years of my life; started with a relocation, a new relationship, new people and friends, but also, as always happens when you start a new path, especially if this path is melted with love and friendship, many controversial feelings.

Now there’s no more relationship, I’ve just relocated again and again meeting new people; this is how we consume ourselves and our time and photography is the only way, at last for me, to record this “consuming”. Coming from a really different approach to photography, this work helped me to engage deeper with people at the point that human beings became my only real photographic interest; even when I take a photo of a place this is related to the presence, or to the absence, of someone.

To point the camera to someone in the right way can let you stole a part of intimacy hard to find in other ways. All you need is a click.

Part of this work was featured on the 2008 portfolio issue of Shots Magazine and on F-Stop Magazine. As for the technical side, all is taken on film with some medium format cameras.

 

Bio

Born 1978 in Alessandria, Italy, I now work and live in Milan. Self tought, during the last years photography became my only real interest, an interest that I try to continue beside my everyday jobs, trying to take the best from myself and from the others.

 

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Edoardo Pasero

 

Editor’s note:

Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

31 Responses to “edoardo pasero – half life”


  • a friendly, calm and nice way to tell a story.
    I like this essay very much for the style of telling.

    well done.

  • Beautiful images. I feel lost in a dream when viewing this essay. The lack of temporailty works well, and helps to induce the dream like state. I like the quote by Minor White as well. I often have thought that the power of photographs lies in triggering archetypal motifs that stike at a deep level. When a photo impacts us individually it has reached a plane of our subconscious, when it impacts many it has reached the collective subconsious, the realm of archetypes, planets and the gods. Venus is well represented here, as well as the magician and the trickster. Love the self portrait.

    Congratulations and all the best,

    Frank

  • What can you say about an essay where someone in response to it uses the phrase, “the power of photographs lies in triggering archetypal motifs…”

    Obviously the meaning is way too deep for this country boy.

  • The meaning is hard to grasp from looking at the photos alone but it is very beautiful nevertheless. It is mysterious and artful. It strikes me as having an original viewpoint. On the other hand, looking at women the way men do always makes me a uncomfortable – makes me squirm like love scenes at the movies used to when they were so very stylised – but I guess its part of the show so what can i do. I think there are a few too many boob shots though for my taste but I can’t imagine any of the guys here would disagree with me. ;-)

    Now that I understand the work as an autobiographical piece it makes more sense. Unfortunately, I still don’t understand the meaning of the title. I don’t think your comments about time or Bergson make much sense here. (NB I know who he is). It seems not relevant to this viewer. If that’s the way you want to theorise it for yourself fine, but it doesn’t come through the work as far as I can see. I think you’ve told us more than we need to know in your comment but its not a big deal.

    I think this essay works perfectly well with pictures and minimal comment. What I thought before I read your comment was that the subjects of the pictures were perhaps of people and things of importance to the photographer which is obviously pretty close to the truth. And only then the picture of yourself jarred a bit. Actually it was just the camera that jarred. I would like that picture more without the camera.

  • Edoardo

    Congratulations for being published here.

    My personal yardstick when viewing photographs is that they should speak to me in some way.

    Your photos do speak to me. I get a peek into your own head, and a bit into my own. There are little snippets of things which look familiar to me. I see a fascination with women and sexuality,..un-resolved. Women are a mystery, not really reachable, you love women, womens bodies, the feminine.

    Some of the other moments depicted are obviously more private, and have meaning to you, though not readily apparent to me. There is mystery however, and they do lead me to my own thoughts and memories. I’m entertained and engaged by these photographs.

    I feel a bit of nostalgia for the Mamiya twin-lens in your self portrait. I’ve owned many of these and loved them dearly despite thier oddities.

    Good to see this here.

  • I´m not a country boy or even a country girl and this essay didn´t connect me to my subconscious plane or dream state either. I enjoyed some of the photos as stand-alones and that was really about it. i know you´re young and kind of wrapped up in your relationships and relocations but i think it takes a great deal of fortitude and vision to shoot your own life and the people in it so that it engages a total stranger without coming off as totally self-absorbed. Audrey Bardou is a great example of someone who pulls it off with aplomb and Rafal Pruszynski also manages the job pretty well most of the time.

    You really tell us from the get-go that you are completely wrapped up in Edoardo when you say ¨Half Life is a personal project that is born of two needs; photographically narrate my life, thus building a kind of extended self portrait…¨ It´s ok to turn the lens on yourself but going through this essay twice I had a suffocating feeling of being a third wheel in your little apartment and really wanting out. Maybe that´s how you felt too and if so, then you succeeded in conveying your feelings to the viewer better than i am giving you credit for. However, if that´s so then i think i would have perceived YOUR ennui, your intertia, your claustrophobia rather than my own.

    That said, all the photos were fine. Nothing wrong with them except that the essay really didn´t do much for me in terms of any sort of deep reactions. Here are the photos that particularly interested me and the reasons they did.

    #3- There is subtle irony in the crack in the glass that i liked.
    #4- Very nice the way the sharply focused leg curls through the bottom of the frame while all beyond is soft and blurry.
    #7- The eye of the rabbit evokes the vulnerability of the woman holding it.
    #8- Lose that plastic bag. It is UGLY. Forget gratuitous boobs, that bag does nothing for the photo!
    #10- Nice double exposure or reflection or whatever of the older man and younger woman. Carries a deeper meaning than other more shallow photos in this essay.
    #12- I like the way the headlight peeks out like some sort of gleaming eye ready to pounce.
    #15- Very nice the way the soft pleats in the curtain mirror the lines of the ribs of the young woman.
    #27- Nice light in the self-portrait but photographers shooting themselves holding their cameras has been done….and done……and done….and done…and…well, you get it.
    #28- Very nice portait. Love this photograph.

    Best
    Kathleen

  • Mr. Pasero, I thoroughly enjoyed your essay. It is the first of this length on Burn that I did not feel needed a tighter edit. I like this style of photography very much, and appreciate the lack of information regarding your subjects. If I may suggest, I would end your artist’s statement with the Minor White quote.

    This is, no doubt, a very personal project, but it is not inaccessible to the casual observer. It leaves open the possibility for individual interpretation by the viewer; for me, there is no need, nor desire, to know the details. The mystique is essential for each viewer to make it “his/her own”.

    Thank you for sharing your essay, and please keep us posted with updates to this project!

  • Nice…
    i ( as American ) would like a little more nudity
    involved…now i feel teased and i hate to be teased..
    As Borat once said ” u started it, u finish it…”
    So…
    please please , re-edit and involve the daring photos..
    coz i know they are there…jailed in some hard drive somewhere…
    anyway,
    pretty decent..
    big hug

  • *************************************
    Life is like a cinema of stills…..
    *************************************

    women
    beautiful women….
    memories..
    childhood…..
    shot like a documentary,
    but verges on the edge of being a narrative…..
    wanting to understand the story,
    your cinema of stills,
    but it felt a bit disjointed…..
    some wonderful vignettes,
    and single images as narratives….
    but as an essay,
    I think
    it needs more character building…
    maybe the women need to be involved in your process more,
    or less?!?
    *
    thanks for the wonderful quote from Minor White!!!
    *

  • …works great as a narrative, with or without the text…………. I just made up my own story

  • Jim, what did you think about the photographs?

  • Very nice BW shot, all the same I don’t find them coherent, in other words I don’t read a story. I see a few nudes, and some memories. I suggest to deep investigate every aspect separately: nudes, memories, etc.
    regards

  • Beautiful and powerful images but,
    I don’t think this tells more about the photographer than any other documentary project, and if it did, it is too much self referential.
    I understand the concept of an extended self portrait, but whether this has to mean a constant and obsessive egocentric reference to yourself, I am not sure.

    I mean, it is very annoying to perceive your will to be present in every picture. It’s like, when you experience something, you only think about yourself, and I call that egoism, not self portraiture.

    Paradoxically it is more honest the work of Cindy Sherman, which I do not like aesthetically , but at least she involves only herself in her series of auto biographical photographs, while you tend to impose yourself over everything and everyone.

    I ‘d also like to stress that if you look deep into the work of documentary photographers, they don’t need to constantly refer to their themselves, as this comes up naturally from the photos anyway.

    Nevertheless, I must compliment you for your fine sensitivity, eye and ability to produce extraordinary images.

    Bravo

  • Damn, Edoardo – This is one fine essay. I love it. It makes me wonder, why can’t I be young again?

    As for that Jim guy up there, I don’t think he’s real. He’s a fictitious individual, dropped into this forum by his creator solely to play the role of “pain in the ass.”

    This is a role that must always be filled.

  • Emotional and warm. I like this a lot; it’s a personal story, but with a lot of universal meaning. Good stuff, man.

  • I like the concept, and echoing Justin Smith above, its length doesn’t bother me — probably because it doesn’t present a repetition of images that have already played a role in a narrative as the images don’t have a clear role in a narrative. It’s much more impressionistic, and it works for me on that level. But when I pause to look at the images, many of them are not very strong in themselves. I liked 7, 9, 10, 12, 16, 19, 28, and 29 but with this essay I think maybe having each image be really strong might actually take away from the impression left by the whole. That’s a really strange thing to say so I’ll have to think about it… But, hey, your essay has made me think about such things which is good.

    BTW, I wasn’t put off by the “narcissism” and “self-absorbed nature” of the pics. I didn’t really get that from the pics. I got that from your statement, but when I started looking at the pics, I forgot about the statement, which is another good thing.

  • “Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains.”–Kahlil Gibran

    i usually ask of but one thing about photography that i look at, and that is that is attempt to express the condition of both photography and the act of living. As a photographer myself who believes in the act of viewer expectation a rich collision with the photographer’s story, i’ll always enjoy a story that allows me to feel my own story upon the one i’ve just watched…in other words, does it remind me of the simple act of being alive, or remembering….that was indeed Bergson’s real gift as a thinker, not that time is effluvial but that time negotiates us…..

    though i’d wish to see more of YOU here in the intimacy (since there are lots of nude women) other than just 1 shot of a penis in silhoutte, what i enjoyed is the dreams like quality and the succession of odd pics…pics that are so personal (shots of windows, of irregularly framed lighting) as to remind that most of the time in our life we spend time looking not at ‘heroic/news-worthy moments’ (what i hate about the concept of news/decisive moments) but at the world arround, the pedestrian world, out our windows, at the sidewalk, our feet, our teeth/nose while brushing, all frame by simple things…

    a private diary entry that offers to me another basic joy: the extraordinary love of the image….and that always makes me smile :))))

    thanks for sharing your essay and cograts on being publised…

    cheers
    bob

    ps. i agree with panos and the burat quote too ;))))))))))….

  • p.s. Edoardo (sorry forgot this, but will be short), i meant about in my comment about ‘showing more of you’in relationship to the women/nude pics….for infact you are in EVERY photograph and this is what i loved about this story…you and your vision and your feelings are in every picture, as presence, not just as photographer…and that for me is what made it so beautiful…I just wanted (in the context of this personal story) to see more of your physical/sexual presence…anyway, hope that makes sense…beautiful essay…can i recommend my hero Duane Michal….beautifl work…thanks for sharing…

  • Hi guys :)

    thanks so much for the positive, and less positive comments too, till now. I really enjoy the differences in your opinions.

    Just a couple of clarfications…

    The text above has been edited just a little bit, by Anton I think, cutting away a couple of lines where I explained that I usually don’t give such informations about this series. It was just for burn, a place where dialogue is encouraged, that I choosed to add some infos, just for you.

    To Andrea, half life is the scientific term used tu describe “exponential decay” ;)

    to bob: haha, I swear, that is not a penis, is just an elbow!!! Maybe sex is subliminal in that picture, for sure not conscious, it was just my ex girlfriend’s elbow on the beach, with some friends…

  • Just read the p.s. bob. thanks, I understand what you say; the work is in progress so some changes will happen for sure. Thanks so much

  • Edoardo, I know what the words mean. I couldn’t fit it to the pictures easily.

  • Well, just wanted a name representing the idea of something consuming by time, since the project is, ideally, durable till my last day.

  • I like the work where you hint towards your life rather than show too much. There’s a very personal feeling in your photographs, even those without people, because you’re obviously photographing your life without constructing what’s happening in front of you and it’s something that you must continue doing. It can only get better. The only thing that REALLY let me down was the self-portrait with the camera. It tells something beyond obvious and the essay doesn’t need it.

  • I hate to violate the “one comment” policy, but I feel a little badly that I used the phrase, “pain in the ass” to describe another commenter here. That is not the way to advance intelligent dialogue, so I apologize.

  • I very much appreciate the technical skill that went into the production of this slideshow. I like the lighting and the composition. I hate to go out on a limb these days about how something was created, but I think the presentation shows very good darkroom, printing and scanning skills. But I have significant reservations about the story these photos tell. I fear you are wasting your significant talent, or perhaps talent that could conceivably be significant, on a project that is too easy.

    I read the text after more than several viewings of the pictures and it said just about exactly what I expected it to say. That’s because this story has been told countless times. A sensitive young artist solemnly contemplates existential mysteries while moving around Europe and becoming involved with any number of interesting, and so often photogenic, lovers. Cracking tile, stained bathtubs, old world rooftops and courtyards, and of course Italian nudes, all have cosmic significance. Or something like that. You can see that plainly from the photographs. It practically jumps right out of the text. But unfortunately, that story is a cliché. And unless you awake one morning to find yourself turned into a giant insect, or there’s some such innovative hook, it’s not a story a whole lot of people want to experience anymore. We’ve been there, done that, seen it countless times from other storytellers, and then moved on to more challenging stories.

    So that’s my humble advice. A comfort zone is a dangerous place for an artist.
    Contemplate how you can use your considerable skill to tell more challenging stories.

  • What always puzzled me was why singers or writers are permitted to be autobiographical but god forbid photographers are. What is “easy” about this Michael Webster? Because he didn’t need to get on a plane to shoot it? Is it “easy” because it was shot close to home? What is easy about showing intimate moments from your life? How is this easy but shooting some story where you have no real emotional involvement, where you don’t bare your soul to public scrutiny “challenging?” Explain for us all what you think would be more challenging than showing secrets to strangers and having to deal with radical agendas and personal attacks over a story that is every bit part of your blood and soul? You know, I think what you wrote is so absolutely off the mark it just boggles the mind.

  • “Contemplate how you can use your considerable skill to tell more challenging stories.”

    More challenging for whom? For the viewer or the photographer himself? What makes a story challenging?

    It’s been an interesting read, the comments here under the essay and over under time out.. and it leaves me wondering just how important is the interpretation the photographer gives, and how much (a lot seems to me) on the other hand is projected into the essay by every viewer of her/his own feelings and experiences, or what intimacy means to everyone of us. Intimacy doesn’t stop at the nude, intimacy goes a lot deeper. In other words, nudity isn’t a prerogative of intimacy. Nudity isn’t expolitative per se. It depends what one interprets into nudity.

    Edoardo, it will be interesting to see this work in a few years, how it will evolve, what will remain and what be added. Grazie per ora!

  • Edoardo,

    I very much enjoyed your essay. I don’t see ‘easy’ or ‘unchallenging’; what you have done is provide an intimate insight into the mundane. Everyday stuff that is often held as unremarkable and yet makes out lives. These are the pictures that I see and yet don’t take – you have done that for me and I appreciate your effort. The self-portrait? Mmm – that was the only one that I felt was stylised – photographers with their cameras – it’s been done too many times…

    Otherwise, great stuff.

  • hi edoardo… im familiar with your photographs for a long time and love it… and after seeing u on Burn (congrats) visited your web again… i cannot ignore the feeling that something is missing here, and might be found in a slightly different edit… my excuses for this speculative comment…

    i think u try to compose a “story” from flashing fragments of photography… i do like it, and the aesthetics is good generally, but something is not coherent, there is no point where i feel that the “story” goes beyond collection images (and i dont necessarily expect something like a typical peak to the plot etc)… also, i feel a very big gap between some images in terms of quality/impact… it is your story of course, so i can only suggest u to play with the edit, or with some guide-line to your story, especially knowing that u have really good photographs in your arsenal that are not included here, at least some of them can be related to your “half-life” story so to speak…

  • I liked this very much…it just kind of meandered along gently, nothing jarred, everything beautifully taken, it maybe needed something to challenge me a little more though, but I love your work.

  • Wonderful work, Eduardo. Very impressive.

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