The river remains
by Steve Bisson
Water is essential for human life and for this reason the first civilizations flourished nearby rivers – let’s think about Egypt as well as Mesopotamia, India, or China. For millenniums, water courses have guaranteed sources for food, fertile lands, transportation, hygiene, clay for building. They gave a balanced relationship that we may consider lasting until the last century when bathing in the garden was still common practice.
Later on, the demographic pressure and industrial development attacked the sustainability of this centuries-old relationship. Hence, the modern man has sought a way to mitigate his own environmental impact or rather to contain the damage. This issue is still ongoing, though. For this reason, the Collective Synap(see) was eager to commit their yearly project on the investigation of ‘river’ definition, with the aim to offer a multiple authorial view on different territories, their aspect, and variations.
“The Arno floods in Florence”. This is how the newspaper ‘La Nazione’ started its first page on November 4th, 1966. Fifty years have passed since that catastrophic flood. This timespan has been measured by Giovanni Presutti through the collection of diapositive, photo albums, cards, vintage postcards, and other souvenirs. This board ‘amarcord’ converses with a set of pictures illustrating works for the protection from hydrogeological risk that gain a peculiar dignity, clearly showing that Nature is neither good or evil, but rather indifferent to human will. It is against Nature that we always have to challenge ourselves. Always.
Sergio Campione brings back to light the unknown Italian Chemical period in Bussi Officina, in the Valley of Pescara river. According to the Forestry Service, there an ‘ecological bomb’ has been buried or rather an illegal garbage dump which is among the largest ones in Europe. Over 100’000 tons of chemical production scraps have been placed there. Pictures of this current event almost neutral and distant, that seems almost fake, intermingle with archival views and vintage pictures, generate unexpected connections and time short circuits. ‘Before’ and ‘after’ do not exist. Everything constitutes the actual present.
Antonella Monzoni travels through the area between the Secchia and Panaro banks, in the Emilia Romagna region. This is a ‘midland’ where a community strongly related to rivers takes place and emerges whenever we go back to family memories. The work collected by this photographer is not a documentary but rather a diary, which knocks at the door of local memories. A kind of patient courtship like the one between the two rivers – ‘male’ and ‘female’ as they are called indeed – that flow towards their mouths without ever touching each other.
Synap (see) is the meeting of different identities, geographical reality and stylistic expressions. Synap (see) is the convergence of philosophies, ideals and passions. Synap (see) is to look further. Six authors, gathered in a collective photo, propose and develop projects from a common theme.
Born in 2011, Synap(see) is composed by : Andrea Buzzichelli, Paola Fiorini,Antonella Monzoni, Stefano Parrini, Giovanni Presutti, guest Stefano Camplone.
Presentation of the Magazine
by Collettivo Synap(see)
curated by Steve Bisson
Via XX Settembre 67, Verona