FARFANELLA, A LIGHT BREEZE FROM THE SOUTH
'The South has stolen me, the South has given it back to me, without half measures'. In this sentence of Angela Antuono I can see the awareness she has living the relationship with her ownland.
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One of the Italian regions that appears to us as, on one side a strict mother and a beloving mother on the other, with her possessive embrace, hugged between the people and their land, it marks in the body and soul those who were born there.
In those populations, because, of their social and economical condition, the bitter necessity brings them to decide between facing the pain of abandoning or facing the difficulties of staying.
Antuono, thank to the photography, has found a way for remaining and, in the meanwhile enjoying the breath full of hope and freedom that photographic language offers her in order to relate herself to the North of Italy, her actual knowledge always in search for novelties.
Farfanella portfolio has been appreciated at first sight, both by critics and public, as it happens when astonishment beyound the memories one is captured by the affective awareness that many aspects have been lost, when in the 50' and 60' we were adolescent, Yes, this is the key that Antuono, thanks for her pictures, has used to open the door of our intimate memories. We too, people from North have the same roots, in the peasant world.
Even though with different customs and culture the peasant world of the North has lived the same rhythmical alternation of seasons, an austere life made of rich, playful and creative human relations in the story of each family. In the North too, children used to play in courtyards, farmyards, squares and streets of the village that were not asphalted, without cars. Every day it was like living together the old rituality that, from morning to night beated the time with moments rich in humanity and poetry; probably it was the poetry in material things that brought people to value the human expression so stong and sincere that prevailed over the little that was there.
The subject of Farfanella is the friendship between a little boy and a girl, caught in a particular moment and recounted in momenti of playtime and re-presentation of the light and ineluctable sentiment that is peculiar of the adolescence, a tricky period in which different sexual identities take form.
At that age the innocent relation thah has gone on for several years, ends up and swiftly becomes a memory, giving room to the corious and passionate drive of the youth. In the mind of young people the perspective on the future, suddenly, for biological law, open wide.
It is in this space that the camera of Antuono shoots scenes worthy of the Neapolitan 'commedia popolare' that reveal her deep, firm metaphysical aspects too.
In fact, after the first gay images the narrative tones change in a triptych of anthropological analysis that closed itself in a timeless space, symbolized by an empty jug put on an old bedside table. Another surrealistic triptych follows where the girls is sleeping, lying under a white sheet; the boy changing of his flriend and Antuono gives us the idea trough a very strong image where he, standing next to her, with closed eyes, skims over the white dress of the holy Communion of his older friends.
The whiteness of the dress by the side of the boy wearing humble clothes of antique tinge and his surprising sleepy pose, talk of the changing theatre going to happen to him too. The White dress is worn woth embarassment, in the jug there are some callas; they are both symbols of the achieved femminility.
The sentiment of inadeguacy of the new condition of a girl, by now, already archived, is represented by Antuono through an icon where two different images of the jug with callas act as a framework to the girl who shows her dress.
It is a strongly vivid image wiath strong aura which is the unequivocal sign of the expressive ability of the authoress.
The portfolio ends up with the girl posing, she wanted to escape, which renew the idea of the conflict between life, that's always imposes strong changing, and man who has to face the hard work of adapting his human nature.
Maybe the message that Angela Maria Antuono wants communicate is the elusiveness of life in its decisive moments and the power of the photography to immortalise them , making them more realistic and comprensible.
Angela Maria Antuono, with Farfanella tells us about the south, from the South, with her strong signs she is able to awaken our universal memories of adolescence, an age, as often happens in life, that we understand later, in the decisive aspects that takes her name from a southern light breeze, shows us how photography can be seen as a place for preserving the memories and for sublimating our real life.
Silvano Bicocchi - Nonantola (MO)