HINKING TO KNOWLEDGE – preface by Sandra benvenuti
The landscape of Maine was one of the first to be seen by the eyes of European explorers while landing in the New World. Maine became part of Massachuttes in 1961 and won its long battle for Independence only in 1820, when it became the 23rd state of the 50 federated states forming the USA.
After two centuries, Monica & Giampiero Bonacini leave from Modena – their land of origin – and land in Freeport, in the state of Maine, in the heart of New England. Here they buy a historical residence dating back to 1789, they refurbish it from its foundations and Casa Alchimia is finally born.
The new house matches the luxury of simplicity with the finesse of the interiors, thus maintaining intact the magic of ancient silences and the natural harmonies of the place. Being sensitive to the beauty of the place and being both art-lovers, the Bonacinis transform the whole ground floor of their new building into a contemporary art gallery and decide, on the occasion of the bicentenary of the constitution of the state of Maine, to pay homage to their homeland of adoption. Monica and Giampiero then invite an Italian artist known for his poetics and creativity: Franco Donaggio, whose work occupies a prestigious place in their private collection; they ask him to interpret that landscape that had conquered them.
Donaggio accepts the challenge and, after Reflections, a body of works that the author defines as a love chant dedicated to his land of origin (Venice lagoon), decides to start a new adventurous journey in the name of a photographic discovery searching for unknown fascinations. He focuses his eye on new, immense skies grasping every detail, he enjoys every instant by melting with it, literally. He frees his spirituality in a very low flight over picket fences dancing in the wind, piers immersed in a silver sea, urban geometries covered in snow and solitary benches contemplating infinity.
Donaggio captures with his lenses the details of a world observed with the freshness of a young eye, and, through this methodic research for beauty in every single shot forming a sequence of dreamlike pictures, he drives us towards sleepy skies and lights that are as sharp as razors. In Silences Donaggio accepts the new challenge of the purity of a vision deprived of any aesthetic contamination, thus creating photographs that have no digital manipulation. They are profound images full of passion resembling scenes from a metaphysical world. There is no such thing as absolute silence in real life, yet the artist does not stop. The peace he is searching for is utopia, yet it is a stimulus for the artist who draws – from this utopia – the necessary energy to walk around on the trail of the beauty of the world, just like a tramp who looks for abandoned things.
Silences is a possible travel diary in which the author – while visiting some areas of the state of Maine – collects shapes, symmetries, solitudes, cold twilights, absences and rarefactions, and manages to give them a shape which, in turn, become photographic memories for us.