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L'altra faccia di Modena

PREFACE BY Carlo Contini

For here the artist’s style is completely different to what we have seen in her first book. In-deed, these photographs have a quality of “movement”. And yet the blur is “unique”, some-thing that other photographers fail to depict in similar photographs. It’s a difficult-to-repeat technique and yet Severi has managed not only to master it, but to apply it to the photo-graphs contained in her last four published works. It’s a style that will no doubt earn its place in the history of modern art. While her first book on Modena focused predominantly on winter landscapes and figures, this volume is a celebration of summer, which explodes in all its fragrance, beauty and light. And so, once again, I have been bewitched by her representation of a city I happen to know well. Initially it was the colours that did it, but then I came to fully appreciate the skill with which she presents the subject, transforming some-thing weighty into something light and fluid; almost - dare I say it - “moving”.

PREFACE BY Cristina Castellazzi

In M. Pia Severi’s photographs, trivial yet inexorable reality is magically transfigured, taking on the very infinity and abstraction that make it sublime; discarding materiality, weight, and inertia to elevate it, through the imprecision of blurs, vagueness, and the indefinable, to a higher perception of its mysterious essence.

Not the appearance of reality, but rather its most profound intimacy is captured here for a fleeting moment, and offered to us for infinite interpretation. And it never tires of losing itself within these vague confines. Vagueness that calls upon our senses and our mind to ‘feel’ more intensely, to see our vicissitudes with the eyes of the soul amidst these contrasts of light and colour that, by deforming reality, capture it more faithfully.

M. Pia Severi does not hesitate or falter in her investigative coherence. Indeed, she probes into the very heart of normal urban life, enabling us to truly rediscover another facet of her Modena.

The artistic contrast she proposes delicately and bewitchingly investigates the ancient foundations of the city and today’s way of living it, without stopping at the representation of a street, a monument, a balcony, or a meeting in a bar, but by “stealing” the value of the subject, offering a new freshness, a dynamism, a greater beauty... perhaps a message that we don’t notice, because we almost never attempt to see the inherent mystery of things, and therefore their poetry.