Bologna aria di festa
FEELINGS ABOUT BOLOGNA BY Vittorio Sgarbi
Forms with unclear outlines are suspended in oneiric atmospheres: a fleeting glimpse of the Asinelli Tower, a stroll beneath the porticos, a rendezvous in piazza Maggiore of which the eye captures only a foggy impression, imprecise details, glimmers of light.
These are images that belong to the everyday sphere, depicting a familiar dimension that is well known to the inhabitants of Bologna; it is impossible not to make out some landmark in this indistinct cityscape and surrender to the flood of feelings unleashed by memory.
Women constitute constant, highly cherished, pet presences: fleeting, assorted and alluring in these shots that suggest the quickness of their steps and their thoughts, as well as the immobility of the instant in which they deign to stop and smile.
In her latest volume, as well, Miss Severi has undertaken a sort of fragmentation of reality, an operation that is imbued with a stunning intensity. “Bologna aria di festa” (Bologna, a festive mood) is a work animated by Impressionistic influences that is particularly striking thanks to the plays of light and absence of distinctness that is typical of the photographic medium; it is equally enriched by evocations of the dynamism and velocity that arrest the eye, pulling it into a vortex in which the city ceases to be a mere quotidian milieu, shedding its common guise, managing to beguile even an observer seeing it for the very first time, rendering it a universal and imaginary place.
PREFACE BY Carlo Contini
This work constitutes the artist’s fourth volume of photographs, after “Sotto il segno di Mo-dena” (Under the Spell of Modena) dating from way back in 1984, “Emozioni capresi-Inverno” (Impressions of Capri) and “Venezia è sogno” (The Venetian Dream), printed re-spectively in 2008 and 2009. We can notice details and affinities that distinguish this book from the others. By 2008 Miss Severi had already developed a new photographic style, that cannot be detected in other photographic volumes, and it was with this same style that she created “Venezia è sogno”. Regarding these two recent works we wrote of a style that, metaphorically speaking, we defined as “scratched”, in the sense that the artist seemed to have shown us her talons in order to create parallel straight or semicircular streaked effects that frame the places and people depicted in a sort of dreaming dimension.
The photographic volume featuring Bologna is even more oneiric. Here the artist alternates fairly straightforward, clear photos ( see pages 1, 12 and 89) with deliberately abstract, blurred shots, as if to enable the viewer to interpret the image as he pleases, drawing upon his own personal, individual imagination and psychological predilections.