Is Life Under The Sun Not Just a Dream
When the child was a child
It was the time for these questions:
Why am I me, and why not you?
Why am I here, and why not there?
When did time begin, and where does space end?
Is life under the sun not just a dream?
‘Song of Childhood’ BY Peter Handke
To me, it seems to exist an exact time during the day when things are revealed under the warmest sun, bringing out their own, mute, truth. Wondering at the margins of southern Europe realities, where the ephemeral remains of everyday life are improvised temporary sculptures and the slag of a breaking classicism acquires its own life, I wish with my work to punctuate this search in the ordinary.
Like the child, the protagonist in the extract of Peter Handke's poem, I wanted to start doubting my own perception, being interested in some of the subjects that for Gilles Clément form the so-called third landscape, I sought the metaphysical facades of these places for tension created between an ambiguous human presence and the surface of things.
By placing a geographical limit on my research, I wanted to focus on states such as Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, southern countries of the Continent that more than others still show the aftermath of the last economic and social crisis.
By investigating the surfaces and proposing a dreamlike representation of the contemporary realities of these places, I want my work to create a visual perception of a mental Southern Europe. The production of this work has been carried out also in the scope of PARALLEL European Photo Based Platform
Rocco Venezia is a visual artist and works as a curator for PhMuseum.
Venezia has exhibited his personal work in solo shows at VOID (Greece) and JEST (Italy), while he was displayed in group exhibitions at Fondazione Fabbri (Italy), Capa Photography Center (Hungary), ISSP Gallery (Latvia) and Gallery Image (Denmark). His project Nekyia is a book published by the Italian independent editor Witty Books in 2017, the monograph is part of the collection at the National Art Library of Victoria & Albert Museum in London. His latest work - Is Life Under The Sun Not Just a Dream - started in 2018 and developed under the European Program Parallel Platform, by which he has been selected as second cycle emerging artist. He has been nominated by VOID as one of the Futures Talents of 2021.
Next to his personal practice, Venezia works as a curator and producer for PhMuseum since 2017 for which he develops educational activities, the editorial line and the curatorial activities. Lately, he has worked on the concept and editing of the two collective publications by PhMuseum - Familiar Stranger (2020) and Inside (2021) and has been the curator of photography during the PhMuseum Days International Photo Festival. He is the co-founder of PhMuseum Lab, a photographic hub based in Bologna since 2020.