ERASED - EDUARDO CASTALDO
photography Arturo Muselli
31 March 2015
Above: The picture titled Erased, shot in Egypt during November 2011.
In the heart of Naples, a house—the cultural space Tribunali 138, founded by photographer Luciano Ferrara—welcomes home photojournalist Eduardo Castaldo, who displays his photographs in a personal exhibition for the first time in his native city. Born in 1977, Castaldo's images already approach the iconic, presenting us with crucial events of our recent history, especially in the areas of the Middle East and Ukraine. Castaldo's images have been used worldwide by the media, winning several international prizes—the Word Press Photo Award in 2012 amongst them.
The choice of a domestic environment as gallery is striking. Protected both by the homey and the artistic context, the images get back their raw communicative role, enforced by an intimate one-to-one approach between the photographs and the observer. For the photographer himself, it's a process of self-revelation, signaling the beginning of an investigation that comes from both the professional and personal urge to give a powerful answer to the meaning of photographic information today: especially in assuming the responsibility that building independent political thought contributes.
The recently opened path invites us to contemplate new chapters of this delicate and controversial field, and it is not a coincidence that the project was born from a conversation between two photographers from Naples: Castaldo and the curator of the exhibition, Peppe Tortora.
"Erased reflects the author's need to get some distance from his own pictures, rifling their sense by rewriting it. Many of Castaldo's pictures narrate recent years in the Middle East—the conflicts and promises of freedom—pictures full of symbolism and simulacra of reality. The author is aware of this, and that's the reason why he feels the need to propose them again to the public and to himself, drained from their symbolic burden and outside of traditional spaces. Erased is not only an artistic event: in these pictures we find Egypt, the 2011 revolution and the months that followed, symbols of hope, dreams and heroism. All this has since been swept away by a military coup. Erased. Castaldo's pictures, bound and gagged like the people and the dreams they represent, come with their silence to narrate the dramatic situation of a population. It's by passing through an artistic process that the photographs get back their documentary identity and give back to journalism the right to the magic."
Above: The apparition in red is the photographer, Eduardo Castaldo.
Above: Getting closer to the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, shot in 2010.
Above: Land of Waste, on the garbage crisis in Italy. Somma Vesuviana, 2006.
Above: Dawn of a Revolution, shot in Tahrir Square, Cairo, February 2011. One of the photographs from this series was awarded the Word Press Photo and the Photographer of the Year International prizes in 2012.
Above: The wing of the exhibition called Egypt's Room collects a series of images shot during the revolution of 2011. The pictures are displayed on the floor, covered by leaves of cellophane and illuminated by a soft light, symbolically "erased." The visitor, entering the room, has the chance not only to look at them on the floor but also to take them in his or her hands, in a closer interaction.
Above: A constellation of small antique frames on the wall hosts a series of pictures portraying the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel, shot between 2007 and 2012.
Above: Picture from the set of Matteo Garrone's movie Reality, shot in 2011.
Above: Picture from the set of Matteo Garrone's movie Reality, 2011.
Above: Donald, 2011. From the set of Reality.
Above: A blend of nostalgia frames the pictures from the Coptic series, shot in Cairo between 2012 and 2013. The pictures are displayed like traditional family memories: the "erased" concept touches here its major depth, as there isn't any connection between the subjects of the images, a memory of a family that doesn't actually exist.
Erased is on view through April 19th, 2015.
Tribunali 138 is located at via Tribunali 138, Naples.