Untitled, 2000, photographs
Already in his early works, namely video installations, Simone
Berti called attention to the problem of the precariousness
of the present moment. Berti once wrote that only in a given
situation when everything becomes doubtful, could some level
of certainty be achieved. He often imagines objects and situations
which seem as if they were destined for failure from one moment
to another, merely due to momentary nausea. A group of people
posing for the camera can quite readily be compared with painted
portraits, in the way that, for a certain moment, they freeze.
It is entirely irrelevant whether this takes place in front
of the camera or in front of the painter's eye. In each case
the balance or stability that a person is capable is brought
into question - in the physical and in the mental sense. The
protagonists in the photograph are placed within the complex
of a metal structure, which gives even greater emphasis to
the severity of the pose, so characteristic of group portraits.
The composition is particularly reminiscent of old snapshots
when photographers required the human body to remain as still
as possible for a longer period, so that they could produce
an acceptable photograph. Of course, that waiting brought
about a feeling of unease and disquiet, which overwhelmed
the subjects. This impatience to get it over with as soon
as possible can be observed in their faces and attitudes which
often seem exaggerated and uneasy to the point of masked artificiality.
Of course, these photographs can also be interpreted as a
search for excellence in composition, as a formally perfect
recording, which can be obtained precisely by clamping the
subjects into a kind of standing solid structure that prevents
the slightest movement.