Welcome to www.florianomenapacephoto.com!

This website is organized as a book, so you should read every single page with quiet, like you’re sit down on a chair. Therefore, without any unwanted noise, you can see the results of over forty years of activity as a historical photographer. I want to ask you a bit of concentration to consider if book’s proposal is interesting to you.

There are the photographies: the firsts are the oldest, and they’re the result of some experiments that I’ve done early in my career. After these, I’ve study a lot in order to develop many ways to photograph, year after year until nowadays. I’ve done all my work with calm and optimism, without proposing myself goals too much ambitiouses who can disturb the true purpose of my photographing.

Good reading… 

Photographer since 1968. After learning the rudiments of the technical knowledge, I’ve made almost exclusively portraits for over ten years, as it was a way, influenced by shyness, to communicate with other people. My desire of working with passion and motivation is begun by my decision to learn something more than the typical knowledge of an amateur photographer, attending the first Italian university dedicated to the photography, located in Bologna (Italy). After these studies, I’ve started to work for the local authorities. In my life, I’ve created an historical photographic archive, and organized photographic campaigns of documentation on the cultural assets of my region. These activities have enriched my experience. The personal interests of that period have been mainly two: the portrait painting of Arnold Newman and Paul Strand. The first one sets up the portrait by creating a meaning beyond to the impact with the subject, while the second one wants to render the nobility of the human being, beyond its real condition.

In first years Eighty, I’ve completed a surveying on my intimate sphere after seen the works of Gianfranco Ferroni and Domenico Gnoli, both influenced by models of photographic origin.

I’ve analyzed the topical places of my house, the painful absences for converses never concluded, the discreet presence, of “good” ghosts, exclusively in visual shape, without exhibit them with the dramatic force of Ferroni. I’ve remembered moments in other contexts and dreamed to find, for fantastic superimposition, argument that still I chase the ancestral house. With Gnoli I’ve revive the metaphysical eye, that’s accurately descriptive and novelistic. I’ve begun to examine elements minimums, natural, or of my experience, transforming them in visual elementary topos.

I deepen the study of Paul Klee’s work and his Theory of the shape and the figuration and George De Chirico, producing several searches, collecting evidences, or recognizing in the memory figured references with character of cultural valence, and searching possible meanings.

From here, with the first searches on natural elements, a long literary way begins. Later on I will abandon the theories of Klee, but I will deepen those on the Metaphysics and its symbols to which I still dedicate attention and study.

Despite having had a traditional education, a lay formulation has been always present in me, and on this one I've consolidated a personal view that reinforced my knowledge, but also pushed me to the isolation. Therefore I have deepened this tradition of the western culture, that begins from the Neo-Platonism, and continues with alternate vicissitudes until these days (even if those topics seem sleeping today).

As a result of those experiences and to the will to deepen that trace of the western knowledge that identifies with the Simbology a hermetic communication system, I’ve realized one series of died natures, that they’re have to be “read” like a book. To face the world with the photography always has been enough difficult to me, considering that I do not possess the nature of a reporter.

In this way is strong the necessity to find atmospheres that are silent, possibly enriched from direct or indirect cultural points, emphasized by captions, that are unavoidable part of the same image, where the will of the operator is expressed by the birth of the interaction between the two.

“Lucidografie”, one of the names that the photography had at its debuts, are still lacking that total consciousness of working with motivation, but they are a sign of a beginning.

Between many readings, novels, travels, history, history of the art, contemporary, aesthetic art, technical poetry, handbook, I have endured the fascination of regarding topics shipments, per diem of travel, far, mythical lands stories, but also searches on particular territories, on their geography, history and landscape mutations.

The territory-literature connection has pushed to me to explore, with a brand new look, the personal places of election, transforming them in portions of landscape with twofold valence, for a its intrinsic value and an another value reconstructed by me: a series of small sized images has been born, during long excursions. These images are similar to travel notes, as Bruce Chatwin or the geographer Eugenio Turri loved to make.

The still-not-cleared concept of “landscape like theatre”, born towards the half of the years Ninety, when -in agreement with the letter faculty of my city- I’ve given to beginning to one collaboration on the aesthetic of the landscape, with the fundamental instructions of the work of the geographer Eugenio Turri. During this collaboration I’ve discover the “iconema”, that is that portion of landscape with great valence compared to the photogram, considered as a container of visual information to visually decode. This concept was not still completely asserted, and only recently is acquired as a source.

The innovation was in executing detailed images, as they were memorandums of a specific landscape, as Paul Strand and Gabriele Basilico done in the past. These images emphasize more the aspect acclimatize than the man, since his abandonment of the place had marginalized his presence.

From these conditions some exhibition are been born, beginning from 1998, on several cultural units of my region. There are photographies of the “Valle dei Mocheni”, ancient population of German language, and the “Valle dei Monzoni”, located in “Dolomiti di Fassa” with the small mountain dew dedicated to the geologist Torquato Taramelli. In these places my search is focused on landscapes that are not influenced by mass tourism and conserve they’re ancient characteristics of the second half of the nineteenth century.

Then there are other searches on the territory like that one on a quarter of the city of Trento, and on the presence of the historical railroad of the Valsugana. I’ve done also another search on “Val Pusteria”, about the impact on the valley of the “Consorzio di Bonifica del fondovalle atesino”. The last search I’ve done is about the “Valle di Non”, with characters mainly metaphysicians, like Mimmo Jodice’s experiences. All these searches comes with historical and environmental studies.

I never forget my cultural origins, that always accompany me, tied to what I define “Photographic Observations”, and to extraphysical images, that goes beyond the simple representation. These are closely personal photographies, dedicated to peoples that are important in my life.

The discovery of the movement of the earth and the sun. Their main pointers, that are the shadows and the atmospheric events, imposed to me a particular method of observation, that is realized in photographing an exclusive moment where the operating, cultural and psychical conditions must gather themselves. Corroborated from methodical studies, I have made mine the concept of “interval”, and that is the recovery of that temporal space of “quiet” between two circumstances, in order to pick of the suggestion, the synthesis. After the “interval” I draw to my personal baggage in order to concatenate feelings, ideas, images to transfer, through the technical equipment on the photographic paper. That fantastic sediment is enclosed in the deep. In this way the connections between what I’m seeing and what I have in my mind happens. They’re a species of collimation, often needy of literary description, if there is the intention to offer it to exteriors to my sphere.

The literary description creates a highly summarized connection between the symbols inside of the image, and is addressed to the ability to read the inside-meanings. These images are realized in an antique vision, respecting the history of the photography and its techniques.

There is, at last, the altruistic implication, of social engagement, ecological alarm and in this I find comfort in the work of a great American photographer, Robert Adams, entitled “La bellezza in fotografia – Saggi in difesa dei valori tradizionali (1986)”. From this work I draw reason of silent verification, comparison, search, restoration, love and respect for the portion of earth where I’m living. A photography has been compared to a poetry, to an aiku, to an “iconema”, to a phrase, to a synthetic portion of world, and to an incontrovertible document. A collection of photographies, an exhibition, a book, a novel, an encyclopedia. But it depends on what you expect, and on which are the purposes of your photographing.

In a culturally fluid situation, that proposes a hasted and industrialized visualization of a post-humans world without the old interactive references between possible knowledge, removed of its creative presence, some voices recall to chasteness solutions, of conciseness. In fact, the writer Gianni Celati, fellow traveler of Luigi Ghirri, proposes the recovery of the fantasy, of the imagination, to the place of industrialization of the story, the novel, the force of the solitary consideration.

 

CURRICULUM VITAE

Floriano Menapace is a photographer since 1968.

He receives the Laurea in Historical Photographing in 1979 with Italo Zannier , discussing a Thesis entitled “Storia della fotografia in Trentino - 1839 – 1915”. In years Eighty this Thesis was completed and published.

In july 1978 he was an official of Provincia Autonoma di Trento, and his work was focused on cataloging campaigns of Cultural Heritage of territory. In  the same year he founded the Archivio Fotografico Storico (Historical Photographing Archive).

In 1979 he published his studies, catalogs and articles about historically and artistically interesting topics, focused on the problems of cataloging photos and on criticism of historical photography, cooperating with Istituto Centrale del Catalogo e della Documentazione del Ministero per i Beni Culturali.

During year Ninety, he deepen the basic themes of landscape studying, both on documentary and aesthetic aspects, cooperating with University of Trento.

Since 1996 Floriano Menapace deals exclusively with Archivio Fotografico Storico.

In 2003, the Archivio Fotografico Storico has a very big database counting about 1.100.000 historical photos.

In those years, Floriano Menapace takes care of a large number of photographical exhibitions and historical catalogs, and he does some publications in collaboration with the most famous representatives of Italian photography like Italo Zannier, Lanfranco Colombo, Angelo Schwarz, Gabriele Basilico, Cesare Colombo and Gunther Waibl, to name a few.

In May 2004 he voluntarily abandoned his work in Provincia Autonoma di Trento. Since that moment, he deepen the study of the evolution of the landscape with photography.

He promotes a particular formulation of the viewing approach, based on Eugenio Turri’s theories, about the “iconema” themes.

So, the subject of his “osservazioni fotografiche” is consequently based on his researches on cultural emergencies, learned by a literary-descriptive approach, and on the theories of the most famous photographers, from the last century till nowadays.