Claudio Santambrogio, ‘Landscapes#15’, 2015, RBcontemporary

The darkroom is a magic place, the place where it all happens. Central in the history of photography since the beginnings of photography, it is now losing importance due to the rise of digital photography. Less and less photographers are working on film: we can say that a chapter is coming to an end. Working in the darkroom is a slow process, requiring patience and dedication. And the very moment that the image appears is the strongest emotion that we are now losing.
The series Landscapes is a tribute to the process. To the printing process itself, without a photograph. The image does not come from a negative, from a photograph, but from the pure trace of light. Gradations of black, tonal variations: the landscape is a metaphysical one, conjured up by the eyes of the observer. There is no real landscape, but a story told by the gaze of those living it.
North, on the other hand, represents a classical view on the landscape: monochromatic minimalistic snow and a rocky landscape dialogue with the presence of an archaeology of the twentieth century. The traces of men vanish in the abstract lines of the powerful arctic scenery. The Titan crane is an indistinct skeleton, the coal power plant is a dark blot melting into its surroundings, the airship mast of Amundsen and Nobile is barely visible. And the small cemetery is nothing more than a sign at the foot of the massive slopes. But, surprisingly, the presence of men is given by the material of the clothes worn by the workers and hunters of the seventeenth century – woolen socks, caps and jumpers that incredibly survived and have not suffered from deterioration in time: wool, now sewn into the texture of the photographs themselves.

About Claudio Santambrogio

Italian, b. 1970, Milan, Italy, based in Milan, Italy