MADRE. Museum of Contemporary Art Donna Regina
In 2013, the Donnaregina Foundation for Contemporary Arts launched a patronage program called Matronato to recognize and promote projects of great cultural value and quality that stimulate social cohesion, scientific and humanistic research, a dialogue between different disciplines and support artistic production and mediation as a source and inspiration for collective development. Blind Vision, a recipient of Matronato, is the title of Annalaura di Luggo’s multifaceted project at the Istituto Paolo Colosimo aimed at the blind and partially sighted people of Naples in which she links planes of scientific and social research, photographic record and performative interaction. But, above all, it focuses on modes of expression that are able to return truth to the object and subject of the research. In her artistic practice, di Luggo investigates, with the approach of a researcher who does not draw from any predefined discipline or consolidated method, a single subject: the iris of the human eye, documented by her camera’s macro-lenses and a patented system of shooting that excludes from the scope of the shots any reflection of light. As a result, every iris becomes a unique representation of each human being, just like a fingerprint or DNA. To add to her study, every photo shoot is preceded by a conversation between the artist and the individual, who becomes the physical and intellectual subject of this relationship and its accompanying research. So the final artwork becomes more than just photographic documentation and gives it more than just a scientific feel, including notes on the thoughts and memories shared by the various parties with the artist. Articulating this dichotomy between body and mind, outward appearance and intimate sphere, di Luggo challenges her method of analysis and the very foundations of her discipline, tackling, in the case of Blind Vision, the gaze of subjects with total or profound visual impairment. Developing a relationship of exchange and mutual interaction, the artist has favored tactile and oral contact in order to enter into a dimension of experience and behavior that explores the concept of “vision” itself, evoking and sharing its alternative forms. The works thus become metaphors of this reality: multimedia installations immersed in a darkness that is redefined by auditory components and tactile texture expressed in three-dimensionality. The process by which the artist further communicates this epistemology of possible visions is entrusted to synaesthetic resources, in which image, word and sound overlap and, in fact, redefine each other. How to see, what to see—questions that in Blind Vision become synonymous with a more absolute inquiry into the multiple realities of the individual and the multi-verse of our human condition.