Photographic exhibition “I/You”

Photographic exhibition "I/You"

The photographic exhibition from the International Poetry Competition “Castello di Duino” ‘s young poets is now available online at this link .  The photos are accompanied with the poets verses which complete their meaning. It is possible to leave a comment below them.


Will the wound of otherness ever heal in the joint conquest of our world (11 and 12)? How many

and which are the ways that allow us to represent the dual infinity of the world?

Visitors will ask themselves these questions while visiting the path traced by the photos, which

should be evaluated not only for their aesthetical quality, but above all by appreciating their

meaning, suggested by the poetic commentary.

Poems will just “hint” at the meaning of the photos: The proper trait of the here presented relationship

between word and images resides just in this: the image is not a simple description, and the text doesn’t give

a univocal interpretation, moreover word and images, referring to the same topic and proposed by the same

author, call upon a new open sense.

This exhibition tour can be made countless times, in which every visitor will be able to re-write in

different ways the stories behind the photos. We therefore invite you to visit our on-line gallery on

the exhibition website (, you can also leave a


The theme of otherness will be deeply explored: the otherness that generates conflict, that purifies

itself in love (22), that crystallises itself through disjunction (8), or through the separation of heart

and mind (35), that finds its catharsis into the fire and the light, the melting points of the elements

(23, 37). This otherness also becomes tragic when a snowy landscape echoes in vain the cry of the

words “I love you!” (20).

But otherness can be also barely perceived, as if it was detached from humans (which are absent

and only imagined), but is can be felt (and let to reveal the human again) in the little, lightly-
coloured things, whose scent is hardly smelled (32). Sometimes disturbing (9, 19, 30), sometimes

reassuring like a natural gift (26), this otherness pervades the world, it is found in every place

and every gesture. In a dual universe, gaze and hand are two opposite poles. An eye can either be

broken (15, 7) or represent the only way to get in contact with the inner and outer reality (7), but it

still testifies to the existence of a “You” (25), to a possible encounter (42), also by looking outside

ourselves, even to meet our soul (27).

The miracle of transformation (42) confronts itself with the heavy burden of the pain (13), the

bloom in the garden of love (14) faces itself with the MEMORY, which, like the moon, reflects

another place to live in (28).

These photos show many paths to follow, they indicate the destination of the encounter, even

when the background is hollow, or when the footstep is left alone on the floor (3,4,6), unless we

find along the way the “carnivorous monster living in the fertile womb of our souls” (5), the cruel

otherness which is felt guiltily (18).

Straight roads and directrices (1,2) give life to the relationship between the variables of an equation

that cannot be solved without complementarity. The physicality of the images is accompanied by a

counter melody: the echo waits for us juste where we don’t know each other; the reflection is a light

which shines always different in the natural shapes of the Creation. The game of perspectives and

mirrors is reflected in a smile found on everybody’s lips “until the last child of God”. Everybody

falls prey of love or hunts for it, everybody is linked by a golden thread, among eyes that meet (10,

31, 36, 38, 40) in a single embrace (29, 41), in a single song (24).

As for the section of the photos made by visually-impaired people (to which a whole exhibition will

be dedicated soon), those who don’t understand the value of otherness may ask themselves how

could it be possible for a sightless person to make a photo. However, the photos of these authors are

full of light, as they constantly yearn for it. These photos also originated from an encounter, which

allowed them to meet other people and listen to their stories, whose places they imagined.

The exhibition is an extraordinary invitation to reflect upon the expressive tension implicated in the

unavoidable relationship between words and eyes, from which our story-telling is generated.

Gabriella Valera


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