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Paolo Covino

Paolo Covino, born in '83. He lives in Pietrelcina and works in Naples. Study self-taught photography. The relationship with its territory, the Campania hinterland, is fundamental for its training growth. He starts collaborating with some local newspapers, and then, with personal and intimate projects, obtains publication in national magazines. He has several group and solo exhibitions both in Italy and abroad.
Currently, his commitment is aimed at finding meanings and messages of a faded world, like the one of his childhood.

He is one of the participants in Antonio Biasiucci's laboratory.

Exhibitions: Pietrelcina 2014 - Pietrelcina Jazz Festival -, Benevento 2015 - Provincial Library / Mediatheque -, Lecce 2017 - Palmieri Foundation -, Rome 2018 - Tiber Art Gallery -, Arles 2018 - MoMa Temporary Gallery - Todi 2019 - Todimmagina, Todi Contemporary Photography Festival - Santa Severa 2020 - The Darkroom Projectù

Publications: Reflex - February 2015 -, Italia Art Magazine - April 2017 -, FotoCult - October 2017 -

"Altars"


ritual adj. and s. m. [from lat. ritualis, der. of ritus -us «rite»]. – 1. adj. to. Which belongs to the rite, conforms to or takes place according to the religious rite [...] 2. s. m. to. The structure of a given rite [...] considered as a whole and in the form described by the liturgical book: that is, the rite considered in itself, in its static form. It therefore includes both the formulas and the different parts of which the rite is composed, as well as the gestures, movements and various attitudes to be assumed according to the performance of the rite itself. [...] 3. s. m. to. In ethology, behavior made up of a sequence of behavioral elements that assumes a specific meaning in social communication [...] b. In psychiatry, a more or less complex and stereotyped series of acts performed repetitively in order to reduce the anguish deriving from the confrontation with an unacceptable reality on the part of the subject. [...]

With the typical attitude of well-known exponents of objective photography, Paolo Covino chooses the subject to reiterate in a potentially infinite number of shots. These are double beds, always taken from a frontal perspective, whose only hints of color are given by more or less decorated or gaudy blankets. As we scroll through these images more slowly we begin to perceive the details; the shape of the backrests, the arrangement of the cushions, the inevitable sacred icon to protect the thalamus. We thus come to understand that these are bedrooms of elderly people, captured in their most intimate space and most resistant to change. The need to pay attention to these "custodians of tradition", as Covino defines them, lies in the desire to restore the territory of which he himself originates through the figures who preserve its historical memory. And entering their bedrooms, in this almost sacred place, means establishing a relationship with its owners, breaking a barrier and accessing a space of memories which is also an altar to life. Objective photography, which makes the repetition of the module its distinctive trait, breaks down here in the uniqueness of each individual interior portrayed which, although apparently the same as the others, is the mirror of a unique and unrepeatable experience. A sense of widespread religiosity - and it is no coincidence that we are near Pietrelcina - pervades these images up to the last of the sequence, where the icon of the saint disappears to make way for a reflection of light which alludes even more to a outpouring spirituality.

Extract from the critical text LAB03: between words and images by Alessandra Troncone

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