For this month’s review I chose an atypical sea picture; It wasn’t taken from the water, the author is not a yachting photographer and there is no action. Basically, the exact opposite of the one I proposed in the first episode!
The author is Luigi Ghirri (1943 – 1992 – here his archive), an authority in the Italian conceptual photography whose works inspired a generation of photographers worldwide.
The analysed picture is part of a collection of 41 images named “Atlante” created in 1973. Ghirri carries out an imaginary voyage capturing the details of a common atlas: in his project, the geographical symbols then lose their illustrative purpose becoming a proper landscape. The direct experience of the journey is annulled and what remains is the reinterpretation.
With the big word “Ocean” in full close-up, this picture offers the sign/ symbol’s experience, which is the mediation between given representation (the sign) and our private imagination: six simple letters have the same meaning for everyone in geography (they are a code) but in our minds they suggest unique images and memories.
When you then look at this picture, go beyond what it represents: It is a chance to bring out your mental images of your real sea experiences.