Dalles Wasco County Oregon U.S.A.
Different yet again is Giuliano Ravazzini’s procedure. The images presented here come from two series: Hortus (regarding certain social kitchen gardens in Emilia) and Dimore Bestiali, a sort of commemoration of curios dwelling solutions for household pets, above all in the Appennine area. The artist builds up images with a procedure that has more to do with graphics in the widest sense than photography: he begins from digital photography shots subsequently modified by heavily simplifying the complexity of tones and colourings, tending towards a strongly artificial image with a flat, Popflavoured rendering. What he photographs, however, is anything but simple and immediate: these are objects for everyday use in “minor” private practices of agriculture: the little chicken roost, the glasshouse made from recycled materials, the endless string of reuses which discloses solutions that are imaginative and unpredictable; he shows us something that is almost a Dadaist Merzbau made off thrown-away objects, assemblies of material and functions with results that are sometimes extremely clever, and always estranging: from the simple reuse of a dog’s kennel as a chicken roost, to the shelter for chicks that looks like a spaceship dreamed up by Mélies, to the sculpture in iron and plastic which turns out to be a greenhouse, while the upturned bottles transmit vibrations to the earth which are, or so it seems, totally unbearable for moles. With a gesture that mirrors the objects’ Dada or New Dada estrangement (isolated from their functions, from the scene of the small kitchen garden) some animals are depicted in the canonical Renaissance-tinged half-bust method, translated into vivid memorable icons of the normal appearance of normal yard animals. Ravazzini, who occasionally indulges in performance art and also operates in the field of applied graphics, moves in the opposite direction from an advertising agent: his is not a promise of quality, a painstaking labour of setting up and make-believe, using repertories of that “typicality” so common in photographs with an agricultural subject matter, but instead reveals the unsuspected aesthetic quality in utterly commonplace objects, that are often recycled. He highlights the materials and spontaneous customs of an agro-food universe (that of the domestic kitchen garden, production and cultivation) as diffuse as it is lacking in an iconographic tradition other than pauperistic, and with a neorealist slant.
After art college, Giuliano Ravazzini attended courses in scene-painting at Bologna’s Fine Art Academy. In those years his artistic production ranged from painting to performance: Foot Print, 1978-81 (based on a repetition of animal footprint patterns), Tile Glazed, 1980, Moda pronta pneumatica 1983, Maggio Odoroso 1985, Wunderkammer 1987; to the production of videos (Rotazioni, Rotoballe), to photography. He has been involved professionally in ceramics, graphics and publishing (some examples are: Marble 1989, Ready Bozzetto 1989, Wood Signals 1999, Rave 1990. On the occasion pf the 2000 edition of Arte Fiera at Bologna, he created the performance Bluetooth Art, during which he disseminated works of art free using a mobile phone. More recently he has been involved in themes linked to symbols (Stauros), Nature and its emergence (Hortus, Dimore Bestiali, Un Hub nell’idrosfera, Migrazioni di Microazioni, Victory Garden, Orto kit). The series published here is a choice selection from the abundant material of Hortus and Dimore Bestiali.