What happens today has already happened, probably in different forms, but it already did. I am referring to the performative gesture with which the artist explores, plunges and hesitates, finally making the image of his work authentic. More here than elsewhere, photography suddenly breaks other possibilities: with a single choice, the artist takes the responsibility that from past to present, it will give back the same value, despite unconveniently balancing between new visual culture and stylistic habit.
Far from the short-range potential of likeability, doomed to fade like any trend, for over ten years Max Tomasinelli has focused on a project having mimesis and sense of community at the core of his work, and made his fortune in terms of knowledge and truth. Yes, because Max acts like Teju Cole in Open city: «He went to the phone and said, Hello, who’s there? Oh sure, how are you, but excuse me, remind me where we met. I told him. Oh yes, of course. Are you staying in Belgium for a month, three weeks, right? When are you leaving? Ah, so soon. Well, why don’t you call me on Monday? We can go out for dinner or catch up before you leave». And so, thanks to a telephone number, an email or a casual encounter, Max meets artists in order to photograph them, as well as to get to know them, aiming at discover how they live, what they think, how they express themselves, who they are.
Several times postponed or canceled or even quickly interrupted, every meeting always holds a paradox, related to photography as an instrument. But that’s it: the pose, the stillness required and the impossibility of being completely motionless, the embarrassment of being observed and the uncomfortable sensation of feeling as an object.