Miles Davis once said, "Don't play what's there, play what isn't there," a homage to his ever-unique presence in the world of jazz,and likely music in general. It may also help in beginning to understand TheDiscordant Plot, a recent project of Italian-born photographer and storyteller Giovanni Capriotti.
It is a series of enchanting images carrying his clean blend of the mundane and the absurd. Blended, however, in a manner that at first glance is dreamy, an hallucinatory quality to them, but on further reflection begins to evoke a sense of disquiet, a haunting aftertaste that I am almost reluctant to explore further for fear of discovering the cause, what isn't there.
And that is what these fairy tale images are about - capturing what isn't there, that which we don't always see or think about or feel, hear,smell. But it is there within us all the time.
Buddhism teaches that nothing that happens within our life, or our lives, is lost or forgotten. No matter how minor, trivial, distant or pre-historic, nothing escapes the eighth consciousness. And this is the level of consciousness, before enlightenment or Buddhahood or nirvana, that we are able to dwell in every night when we sleep. It is the stuff of dreams. Drawing from what happened today, last year and last life, and associating entities,figures and forms, things that otherwise just don't make sense.
The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung also tapped into this notion of an inherent subconscious memory in his theory of the collective unconscious. It is from this shared and ancient imaginative wisdom that emerges certain archetypal images and symbols that have somehow penetrated the human psyche and reliably informed mythologies, fantasies and dreams across cultures and times.
And so this is what we experience in The Discordant Plot, Capriotti playing for us what isn't there. Comforting us with warm landscapes, homey environs and nostalgic amusements and equally confronting us with our awareness of violence, isolation and decay. This is consistent across much of his body of work, which has roots in social reportage and has evolved into these more recent adventures in what could be called photo-surrealism.