THE WOOD OF THOUGHT –  by Tobia Donà

Franco Donaggio’s works reveal themselves by cycles. A challenge to the expression of inner meanings between materiality and spirit, which is always fulfilled differently.
Donaggio does not chase his photographs, he is not connected to them, he does not feed them, he does not seize them: he lets them free. Free to stay. This is his great moral peculiarity. You can see this in Meta-portraits, Border, Station, Urbis, Reflections, Before the Day. But also in every new cycle he creates, an incessant flow continuously evolving until producing a vast, fantastic landscape between clarity and mystery. Collected works ranging from the early lights of daybreak to the last glare of sunset. This is Franco Donaggio’s wood of thought. We don’t know exactly where it is. Yet, we might cross it. However, the important thing is that Donaggio has seen it for us. And it is not something clearly visible: a forest, some snow. These are photographs that have nothing to do with an oleographic representation of nature. Before our eyes a metaphor unravels, an echo, an otherworldly trumpet blast ready to wake up our ancestors; it shows us a world that has not changed and that it has always been before our eyes, even before our birth, eternal yet unknown. Donaggio focuses our eye on the relationship that has connected it to the man since his origin. It is an artifice, a mise-en-scene, since there is nothing inside us that is more natural than Culture, every gesture and every action performed by ourselves and aimed at modifying the reality derives from knowledge and understanding. To which extent does this relationship become stratagem, mystification? What inside us is nature and what artifice? These photographs do not answer these questions. Yet, on the snowy surfaces threatened by a sky full of prophecies streaked with lights and about to darken, you can clearly read what pushes us forward, even when the snow is so high that it covers our knees. An ardent lymph that traverses time. The inexhaustible creative breath that allows us to see beyond and to feel deeper inside us.