© Giorgio Barrera, Untitled, from the series Through the window, 2009
© Giorgio Barrera, Window # 37-2, from the series Through the window, 2009
“There is something in photographs taken by Giorgio Barrera that irresistibly attracts our attention. The aesthetics are neat; the framing structure is clear, respecting emblematic models of architectures and landscapes we know well; the subject is clear and rich in details that are pleasant to linger on. These aspects however mislead us regards to the images easy interpretations, while without noticing what we see, it generates a series of doubts and starts an interpretative process in which things no longer seem as obvious as we thought.
The presence of a window through which we are allowed to look inside a home from the exterior is an apparently simple stratagem, but one resulting in a network of various psychological mechanisms that render the meaning of the image more complex.
This element plays a fundamental role in the way in which the image is perceived by the person on the other side and who is the real receiver: the viewer. The viewer s perspective, now analogous to that of a person standing at a window, either opposite or on the other side of the street which is totally plausible acquires greater credibility. According to Barrera, it is in fact important to leave the viewer with the feeling that he himself is the one looking through his own eyes, with no mediation, and this impression of enjoying a privileged, protected position results in identification with the situation.
It is obvious that by placing the viewer in this situation, the photographer s intentions are specific. He knows that at this point the viewer wants to understand something; he want to understand what he is being shown and why. Above all the viewer would like an interpretative key, one that Barrera instead plays with and keeps in his pocket.
The thin line that separates fact and fiction gets thinner and thinner. Barrera in fact generates expectations that he intentionally disappoints, and he creates doubts without worrying about settling them, simply because at that point he has already achieved his objective.
In their succeeding one another the images become irresistibly more enigmatic and we feel that each window may potentially hide a story. Even the most ordinary scenes, in which all seems to be uncovered, can suddenly become suspicious.
This continuous questioning the why of an image, the reformulation of interpretative codes, satisfying and disappointing the disorientated viewer, is the conceptual principle that inspires Barrera s work.”
Daniele de Luigi
More of Giorgio’s work can be seen here