Photographs by Nicolò Degiorgis. Text by Frida Carazzato.
Museion / Rorhof, 2013. 9 pp., black & white illustrations, 3x3".
The “Camera Cubica” project came about with the aim of combining two rediscovered elements: the building of the Piccolo Museion Cubo di Garutti, located in the Don Bosco neighbourhood of Bolzano, and the camera obscura technique, which dates back to the sixteenth century, in the digital era.
Nicolò Degiorgis combines these two elements with the idea of using photography to capture the characteristics and dynamics of a specific social and public space, employing the very structure of the Cubo Garutti venue as a photographic device: a camera obscura situated in a public area. He covered the two windows of the Piccolo Museion to make the inside of the room completely dark, apart from two pinholes which let natural light into the Cube, exposing the photographic paper inside.
The Cube/camera obscura thus takes black and white negative photographs of the surrounding area, its buildings, urban space and inhabitants. Photography is said to have the power to stop time, capturing and isolating an instant, and Nicolò Degiorgis’ camera obscura both reveals how simple this mechanism for reproducing reality actually is, and dwells on the time in which this reality becomes an image. The reality captured through the tiny pinhole is however subverted, offering an alternative point of view, as Nicolò Degiorgis set out to do: showing not how the neighbourhood sees the Garutti Cube but how the Cube sees the neighbourhood and its inhabitants.
As Alberto Garutti’s phrase on the wall of the Cube reads, “All those who pass by…”, and who stop to take a look at the Cube, have the chance to be photographed and in turn take a photograph with the Camera Cubica, which elicits community participation.
The images developed by the artist during the project converge into a cube made up of faces that can be mixed and matched, where the portrait of one person combines with that of another, both capturing and moving beyond the traits of each.