Dark City: Photos by Francesco Romoli
A series of photos that are both mysterious and unsettling at the same time. Scenes that speak of isolation and degradation that forces the viewer to access the dark recesses of the mind and formulate their own conclusions. The dioramas are constructed using wooden models which are then photographed and finished in the studio using analogue and digital techniques.
The Dark City project is based on two series, "Possible Worlds" and "Reality show”, each achieved using very different techniques: an analogue technique, using a Polaroid, and a digital technique, using image manipulation. These techniques are often seen as being at odds with one other, with the one being viewed as more objective - a mirror of reality, and the other as being more ambiguous and ephemeral; however this work reveals them to be two sides of the same coin. Wooden models are made real through a heavy-handed manipulation and, at the same time, they are laid bare by a snapshot. I like to address the issue of reality, questioning our own senses, working on the boundary between the real and the unreal, that dream-like area where nothing is as it seems, where certainties vanish and definitions change their meaning.
I believe that one of an artist’s tasks is to drive our convictions and beliefs to the extreme, to put them "under stress" and to see if they can withstand this collision. If they do, it means that they have sound foundations, but if they don’t, they probably need to be reviewed and redefined. In this work, "material" aspects relating to the physical construction of the city coexist alongside traditional studio photographic techniques and digital manipulation techniques. Consequently, both series show us a different point of view, but with a common denominator. Dark City is disturbing, just as disturbing as losing touch with reality, when differences emerge quickly, points of reference collapse in on themselves, and the certainty of doubt is all that remains.You can see more of Francesco's work here.