Michele Tagliaferri – Grass

“Because of its own nature, every photograph is born to reproduce an image. Faces, stories and landscapes are all framed and fixed forever within the four corners of the print. Nevertheless, it would be wonderful if these corners could be somehow opened, thus breaking the perimeter of the photograph and letting the image return to the world it once came from.
Every thing, every person, every single image is imprisoned within its own figure, within the corners of the shape it has fallen into. But if we manage to scratch the surface enveloping it, it is possible to grasp the energy kept within. An invincible energy that creates, transforms and destroys the life that surrounds us.
The photographs in GRASS search for this energy.
As we do.”
Michele Tagliaferri, on Grass
Never Ending Attempt

The book is called Grass, which the artist is seemed in love with American poet Walt Whitman’s work and thus the work is also heavily influenced by the poet’s work. Seriously, this is another attempt by photographer who tries to work his way in to something which not only related to what things present inside a photograph. I can only say that this attempt is quite daring, since the very nature of photograph is that the thing which appears on the surface is, it is what it is. You can always tell that if you are looking at a photograph of a cup, this photo is taken by photographing a cup, it is that simple. The right question to ask furthermore is then, why is the photographer taking the picture of a cup, what is the photographer trying to represent by this image?
Let us talk about the book itself. First, the soft cover is quite annoying for me personally because I would like a photo book as beautiful as this to be sturdier, so it will quite safe from any dangerous thing that might put a scar on the book cover. Apart from that, the quality of the print is quite good and the stitching is above the average photo book, so the soft cover minor flaw is easily outweighed by the positive aspects of the book.
It also has the title of the book printed on the back cover of the book. I don’t know if this is the trend nowadays but I am quite conservative in reading book from left to right. Also with that being said, the artist tries not to limit the way to begin reading his book. You can start like any normal book or you can begin from the back. This also for me indicates that the artist does not want the reader’s head to be imprisoned by the title of the book before looking the beauty inside.
I was once told that in building a body of work with photography, I just can’t depend only with an abstract kind of images. This is literally what Tagliaferri does in this book. All the photographs here are an abstracts or fragments of mundane we encounter every single day. Tagliaferri uses abstraction which is one of powerful characteristic of photographic-based image to construct an imaginary serene, a shudder-inducing feeling which feels like a self-perpetuating end stage of human life or maybe the beginning of it. There are very minimal written texts about a boy asking question and asking for explanation and I assumed that the answer is cannot be based on only what some things are seen but how things are perceived and felt.
I also feel that Tagliaferri’s attempt to let the images go to the world it once come from, not framed and fixed by four corners of the print is like an innuendo attached to anything these days. This is why the artist needs his book to be intimidating enough when it is seen and he tries it with print the photograph in quite big size paper for a photo book, 31×22 cm. Page by page sequencing is something I can’t comprehend but it gives the pleasure to opening the page with the feeling we know by heart what presents, we can connect because it is what we see every day, but the quality of what it represents suggest something else completely. It is like the book says, “you need to feel me, not comprehend me”.   
Well, logic aside, the book’s complete lack of allure from first glance is gone by opening the book and flipping the page one by one. The poetic feeling, the language, and the confusing misplaced image sequencing are quite apropos. So the question whether Tagliaferri attempts on breaking image’s boundary of four corners of a print is futile or not, you can answer after looking at this beautiful book.

“Tandia Bambang Permadi sells food, a skateborder, also an artist using photography as medium. His works concerns in gender and relation between men and women. After graduating from master program majoring in fine art, he doesn’t know what to do. He never shows his work online, so you have to come to his exhibition if you wanna see it.”

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