Five Thougths for Irene

Ludovico Pratesi, October 2006 (ITA version)

Irene Kung’s gaze is synthetic, not narrative. It does not explore landscapes but daily forms, the ones our eyes touch on millions of times, so much so they no longer deserve our attention. Deserving of a familiarity without uncertainty.

The foliage of a plane-tree. Cupolas of ancient and modern monuments. A jet of water, a cloud lost in the sky. Suspended geometries of a fern. Common subjects, seemingly and intentionally trivial. Touched by the soft yet implacable gaze of the artist, who has grasped their essence and brought it closer to us. An essence of forms suspended in deep and motionless spaces.

A mise en abime of daily life. An invitation to enter inside the image and read its texture made of almost invisible details. To go beyond the subject, overcoming the barrier of familiarity, so as to construct an equilibrium between light and shadow, projected towards the interior of objects – and at the same time reveal its truth. Without artifice or pretence.

The capacity to see. This is the task of a contemporary artist whose means of expression is photography. An ambiguous and difficult language, seemingly objective but in point of fact violent and merciless. Capable of modifying the natural distance between us and objects, to the extent of distorting their nature. For good and for bad. Both sincere and treacherous at the same time.

Irene Kung has not betrayed forms through the lens. She has respected them. She has not deceived our gaze, but has accompanied it beyond the ambiguous threshold of appearance. Into a place where objects reveal their most authentic soul. Where one can lose oneself, in order to gain experience of the vision.