LA POSA INFINITA
by Bruno Di Marino
As in other videos (Warh, La Camera Chiara) also in the installation La posa infinita, Matarazzo works on archival photographic portraits. The work is composed of a triptych that could slightly recall the altar-pieces of the 15 and 16th centuries, with a central group scene and the whole-body portraits of the saints. In this case, naturally we're dealing with "profane', subjects' common people of the south of Italy that come from the Dorso of Avellino archives and that follow not exactly an anthropologically characterized quest that the artist has undertaken in recent years, but a study on the facial features and the evolution of the characteristics, of anthropomorphic types. In this sense, more than making reference to Ernesto De Martino, the iconology of Matarazzo finds an affinity with Lombroso, as is evident also in other pictorial series of his from the past, such as Freaks. Also in this case Matarazzo uses morphing not to obtain macro-transformations as in his other video works, but instead to move, animate in a few instances, almost imperceptibly, a few elements inside a photo: a child that moves his feet, a man that slightly tilts his head, the grimace of a woman, etc. La posa infinita puts on stage, yet again, the gap between mobile/immobile that emerges from the interface of cinema/photography, under the appearance of an ancient group portrait where the immortalized characters reacquire life artificially through minimal movements and an ambient sound that give the image crystallized in time, the feeling of something taking place “live”.
However, the sense of the work is exactly in this instant dilated to infinity represented by the waiting period before the snap. The moment where the subject remains still, immobile' to allow' once even more so than today, the long exposure time and the final snap. Here we have the abyss between mobile and immobile, photography and video. In this suspension, in this infinite wait, in this macroscopic temporal margin, the observer drowns, she/he also stops to look at the frozen subjects. It's almost as though the photograph hasn't yet materialized, as though the artist, in spite of displaying an image, a representation, were showing something that came before any image and any possible representation. In this sense the “dead time” of the pose makes the style of the installation even more realistic as it brings it closer to real life. On the other hand, the observer has ail the time in the world to let herself/himself be anguished and disturbed by these bodies and faces of the past, many of which don't exist anymore, as they aren’t alive. And, therefore to linger over movements, just as much disquieting, produced by these ghosts. The realism of photography that is pondered over and re-elaborated through a series of impossible video movements and morphing, make La posa infinita, like other videos of Matarazzo, something totally dream-like. A vision laden with time and memory' where the presumed happiness of a particular moment, of a feast, the posing with a good suit on, gets turned upside down in the desperate wait for something else. Probably of one's own death.
(text published in the catalogue Milano Doc Festival 2007, Doc Fest ed., Roma 2007)