13 March 2015


Just Fall Asleep | Video

Chemigrams are not a series of artworks, but rather an interior rumination that springs from the artist’s thoughts on imagination and the unconscious. Quasi-abstract images, metaphors for daydreams: the ability, according to Freud, to express our imagination as adults, having abandoned children’s games.

To produce these suggestions, Margherita Chiarva did not rely on traditional photographic techniques, but on shadows, manipulation and a chemical treatment on the surface of the paper, to “write” the images on the polaroids. This process makes each work unique, an original that not even the artist could ever replicate, because no negatives of the photographs exist.    “It’s sad to think that most of the photographs taken today will never be printed. Photography has become instantaneous, transitory. The images are destined to be seen once and then forgotten”. MC    Printing gives the image a tactile beauty and a sense of permanence. With Polaroids in particular, the exposure to light that produces the image and the process that generates the photographic object occur simultaneously. The photograph is an image, but it is also a tangible object, a physical reality, which has a place in space and time.    “The artist works on his fantasy as a sublimation, in a form that is accepted by society as Art”.    In psychoanalysis, creativity is often treated as an alternative to neurosis, a defense mechanism that gives the artist the possibility of transforming his fantasies into artistic creations instead of symptoms. The unconscious plays a fundamental role in the creative process. In creating the works, defense mechanisms like synthesis and repression of the deepest unconscious thoughts are used, exactly as they are in dreams.      “Dreams are not attempts to conceal one’s real feelings from the waking mind, but rather a window into the unconscious.”    In her works, just as in her dreams, the use of chemical agents leads to loss of control, and the figures have a different meaning for each viewer. The classic white frame that protects the image, like a dress protects a vulnerable body, is removed to distract the attention from the cult object, the Polaroid still, to its content, the image, because the focus is on the unconscious message conveyed by the image itself.    Tangible acts of artistic re-elaboration that remind one of an entire generation of photographers devoted to artistic intervention on the image, even using means that often conceal the “artist’s hand”.     Creating these images brings the artist’s interior mental world to consciousness; their meaning is then deciphered by the viewer, who will not necessarily have the same point of view as the artist, and vice-versa. This way of working produces several levels of meaning which, enclosed in the work, create a sense of empathic , intuitive and unconscious connection between the artist and the viewer. The images are felt more than observed.