Una, Nessuna, Centomila
No name. No memory today of yesterday’s name; of today’s name, tomorrow. If the name is the thing; if a name in us is the concept of every thing placed outside of us; and without a name you don’t have the concept, and the thing remains in us as if blind, indistinct and undefined: well then, let each carve this name that I bore among men, a funeral epigraph, on the brow of that image in which I appeared to him, and then leave it in peace, and let there be no more talk about it. It is fitting for the dead. For those who have concluded. I am alive and I do not conclude. Life does not conclude. And life knows nothing of names. This tree, tremulous pulse of new leaves. I am this tree. Tree, cloud; tomorrow book or wind: the book I read, the wind I drink. All outside, wandering.
Luigi Pirandello, Uno, Nessuno, Centomila, 1926 (English translation One, No One and One Hundred Thousand)
Una is not The One
She doesn’t want to be you. Just anyone of you. Anytime, anywhere. (You need to be Caucasian, but it’s not her choice. She cannot stop being Caucasian and doesn’t like too much of photoshopping.) Una is not the photographer. Not wanting to be an artist, she is part of the picture. Not wanting to represent a whole life, she represents anyone’s life. Bits and pieces of it. Una multiplies her identities and roles walking in and out her pictures. She becomes mirror and model, photographer and subject. Her work is unique because it is serial. And she dissolves in it asking you what do you want to do with her. And yourself, maybe. Una is….. (please fill the blanks)
Veronica Fernandes, 2012
The photography project Donna Caucasica (Caucasian Woman) aims to give a an ironic profile of the modern Western woman by combining each image with an extract taken from ‘The Woman’s Encyclopaedia’, a 20 volume work published in 1963 by the Italian Editor Fabbri Editori. Borrowing from the language of stock photography (practically the only type of images featured in magazines), the project traces the stereotypical representation of femininity and, through the use of the self-portrait, gives a nod to the ‘profile pic generation’.
Una Fotografa is an Italian woman photographer in her thirties.
20 thoughts on “Una Fotografa – Caucasian Woman”
I hesitated at the first image, absorbing the format and the “stock photo look.” I don’t come to Burn looking for pictures like these, but they won me over. I love the irony. I love how artificial it all is. I love how the model leans into some pictures just giving it all she’s got. I appreciated #18 and #19 for taking it over the top. I gravitate to photography of almost any kind that reveals truth and upholds human dignity, and in it’s perverse way this series does both.
It’s difficult to enter into this work because of how the disjunctive perturbation of the gesture endangers the devious simplicity of the remarkable handling of ljght and frame. Also As an advocate of the Chekesian Aesthetic, I feel that the internal dynamic of the sexual signifier seems very disturbing in light of its seeming participation in the critical dialogue disposed of by Frind in the 90s. This leads me to conclude that the metaphorical resonance of the images threatens to deny penetration and exploration of the individual image elements themselves and thus renders the entire work very much like the made up nonsense you have just read.
Seriously though. This is not photography. It is the use of images as part of a piece of art that is exploring a particular(and im sure to the artist, valid) concept, in conjunction with other elements. Together they may well make some sort of whole. On their own they are no more capable of standing as pictures than the word ‘finger’ is of representing war and peace. Outside of their particular setting they have no pictorial currency at all.
Oh yeah nearly forgot …In my opinion.
I’d like to see this taken farther…
show me something I don’t know…..
Couldn’t agree more with John—the second part, that is… the first one is hilarious though…
This is a good natured and delightfully funny poke at 1960s stereotypes and attitudes.
Not “photography”, or “Photography”? Goodness, guess it depends on how narrow your definition is.
I see this as just another example of using photography to explore the “based on a true story”. Trying on personas etc. Not too much different from what Cindy Sherman does, minus the text.
Congratulations Una fun stuff.
I love it, “when she is needed, she appears silently with a delicate sense of presence” (presumably bringing a cold beer) “and then she dissapears, silently back into the shadows”
Can’t help but think this feels a little too pretentious and not really new a thing to strike a chord (in me, at least). The random “laughing girl/middle class woman/bored housewife/suburban female” videoclip parade as been done and done.
Also, the fact that Cindy Sherman exists doesn’t help.
This…. is fantastic… clever on so many levels.
What a great piece of work. How ironic and sometimes – in the combination of that text and the picture – absurd! Wonderful! I love it. Doesn’t it hold a mirror into our society? How much did we develop since the sixties? Did we at all? I expect much more reactions to come against it. Take a second look, think again. Yes. It is us. :)
What I like about the pictures is the clever layout of the pictures and the harmony of colors. There was much thought going into each single picture. Very well composed.
Thank you very much for showing this work to us!
Whether I like this work or not – and I profess not to overly care for it – I will make the room for this work to take up some of my attention and try to enter into the space where the author was when she spent all that time to make it.
I’m tempted to try and go past the first read of it. Is it irony piled onto irony? Or simple irony? I’m more drawn towards the conceptual in photography these days but this floats past me with all the impact of a display rack of women’s magazines. Ah, the exact point, you say! Or part of the point, perhaps. Or none of the point.
Perhaps it was the fact that after the first five images I felt like the point was more than made already that made me scarcely care to see the rest (the politics of it seem garishly shouted – not letting me work to unfold anything). Is that the photographer’s responsibility? Probably not. Does work need to keep us engaged throughout? Again, no. I really want go on a journey with work but this one felt very much of mobius strip that kept endlessly looping around on itself. Ah, the exact point, you say again.
That’s all well and good. We all make work we want others to care for and we fail continually – I do anyway. Look at all the work on the web; it’s horrifying how much is there screaming for our eyeball’s attention. So what I like, I will say, is that this author took a stand, made her work and here it is. I went back and looked at them all – I made myself because I didn’t want to. I gave myself the second chance.
Do I care for it any more now? I’m still working on that.
@Jamie, I just checked out your website and really like your work, in particular your latest series Places To Stand.
About this work, I think that Neonplusatlas’s comments sums it up in part “the fact that Cindy Sherman exists doesn’t help.”… she’s hard to beat in this genre.
Brilliant , original, idea! Straight out of the “out of the box” box!!!
Plus very well done/shot.
What’s not to love???
2 thumbs up
I have to think about this one awhile. It’s clever, to be sure, but midway through the 45 mile drive I took to Anchorage right after viewing it, I tried to pull some of the pictures up in my head so that I could study them a little more and decide what I thought about them, but I could not pull up any image but one – the one with the India furniture and paintings on the wall, probably because I just got back from India.
But maybe I am still too jet lagged to remember, maybe too yet lagged to fully appreciate it.
I will look at it another time and see how it strikes me then.
Okay, I’m clueless.
The series is clever, but is it clever enough?
Sound technical, but I kept hoping to see a
different model in each. But what do I know…
Una is a great persona and the work parallels
Harvey is showing us an artist statement that
I would declare bullet-proof.
“I tried to pull some of the pictures up in my head”
Whether or not a photograph sticks in ones head sounds like a great way to evaluate photographs. Memorable, literally.
Mind you, the older I get, the less I can rely on my memory. I was looking at old personal contact sheets the other day, and honestly cannot remember having taken the pictures or even who the people in them were.
Gordon, I agree about the getting older part. Still, even now, without review, I can pull up several images from Rian’s New China essay without any effort.
I should note that when I tried but failed to pull up the images, I did pull the face of the model, so in that sense the artist did embed that much in my memory.
Success or failure for me has always been influenced by several factors, including luck, effort, experience and interest. As a white male in western society, I never felt part of a minority who could use a sense of victimization or stereotyping as an excuse for failure. Looking at this essay of expected behaviour under different situations, I realize that that degree of freedom for me is something to be cherished, exploited and optimized. It also suggests the wasted energy those in these minority groups spend ruing their lot in life may be better utilized less on the negative, and more toward getting on with it, getting “it done”. Letting one’s position in society define an artist might work temporarily, and it may produce an effective essay of work, but it becomes a one-note song in their repertoire, a limiting of their authorship.
Larry Fink’s influence comes through loud and clear in this essay. The lighting is immensely effective. The high-key work makes this essay very humourous, and the ungelled light offers up a sexlessness and studio lack of sensuality which hearkens back to the 1960s and 70s. This isn’t a criticism of Linda’s technique at all, but I wonder if a straw gel would have added a sanguine pop that would enhance her message, or if it would have negated the intent of the work?
Haha, i love this! My first run-through left me bored and impatient to finish. The model’s smile made my face hurt. Then i read the comments and went back and gave the essay another go. This time i read the text. della Donna is surely the Iberian Martha Stewart of her time and like Martha Stewart, she makes me feel like a domestic hopeless case. She writes painstakingly, precisely, word-by-insufferable-word. Her world is a perfect one where women are always beautifully groomed, kids don’t grow up to be drug addicts and marriages last for 60 years. Not to mention that washing machines do not break down, the help does not steal and airlines don’t charge for extra bags. The photos are exactly, precisely and brilliantly styled illustrations for the text. That’s the art of it. FEELING della Donna’s confining concept of the female role and illustrating that feeling to the point that it makes the viewer practically nauseous. Now i know why my face hurt. It wasn’t the model’s frozen smile, it was della Donna’s frigid reality.
Quite different from Cindy Sherman, IMO. This photographer and model have given themselves over entirely to the dictates of della Donna and the result is completely absurd. Cindy Sherman’s incarnations provoke a viewer on a different level. Who IS that character? What is she about? What is her life like? This photographer and model create no more interest in the created identity then you would have for a shampoo model. That’s the point. della Donna would eliminate every shred of individuality and personality in pursuit of the perfect feminine role. Cindy Sherman celebrates (without objectifying or flattering)flatter) the female identity.
Or whatever..what the hell do i know?
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