Mostra fotografica
1 DICEMBRE 2012 / 6 GENNAIO 2013

A cascade of sumptuous photographs carries us into some of nature’s hidden corners, places which are perhaps in the process of disappearing. There can be no doubt that through this work of his Maurizio Grisa
wishes to share with us some of the secrets that are dear to his heart. So, what is it he seeks with such obvious determination in the innermost parts of unspoilt river beds? He may be driven by the practical difficulties of such a quest, the stubborn resistance of these untouched places to the intrusion of a camera, a stereoscopic one, and therefore capable of producing the sense of viewing in 3-D relief.
All these efforts towards the rendering of forms close to perfection have been made in order to show us deep niches where, although the round stone is hard and the water chilly, we feel a strong desire to curl up so as to revive a primitive emotion within us. Exactly that, to snuggle up to the bosom of Mother Nature as Jean-Jacques Rousseau recommended.
But what do we expect to find there? Maurizio Grisa sees sparkling joys. Water, the primitive element, the feminine element par excellence, not to mention the maternal one, gushes out spontaneously from these seductive cavities, and is transformed through his eyes into a swirl of lights, where movement has the power of ecstasy.
For there is intoxication in these mysterious or lightly-dancing waters but it is a forbidden intoxication, since between the waters and us stands an impenetrable tangle of branches, almost a barrier, whose strong contours the photographer loves to emphasise. He dwells on this to the point where it is legitimate to wonder on which side the prison the artist outlines lies, and threatens us. Is it the inside of these mysterious and seductive hollows of illusion or, conversely, the outside, the side of our world of falsehood?
So, behind this work which appears direct and strictly figurative, in the face of which certain contemporary art critics might risk expressing a few reservations, is hidden a world with a wealth of unfathomable ambiguity, that very ambiguity which, associated with beauty, creates a true work of art.
There would certainly be plenty to say on the use of stereoscopic technique to simulate this relief from two plane images. Almost as old as photography itself, this method was much used during the twentieth century up to the 1980s, particularly in the United States. Stereoscopic views often replaced ordinary photographs, which were considered too flat and not very evocative. The most faithful stereoscopic reproduction employs cameras with double lenses which simultaneously record two images from slightly different angles, just as our two eyes do. It also uses special glasses by means of which, starting from these images, our brain recreates the sensation of depth typical of the three dimensional vision.
When first introduced to Maurizio Grisa’s stereoscopic photographs, viewers sometimes have trouble making the two images come together into a single scene of magical relief. However, they quickly get used to it and then realise, as a result of this experience, the extent to which this cerebral construction relates to illusion in spite of its material aspect.
So in these works by Grisa the actual, apparently simple and reassuring vision of the innermost depths of nature draws its vital force from a three-sided illusion: relief, movement and enchantment. All three emanate from who knows what miracles of the simple medium of photography.

Libero Zuppiroli
Professor at the University of Lausanne

Biographical notes
Maurizio Grisa lives and works in Bergamo where he was born in 1954.
He began to take photographs when he was 18, excited by black and white photography and by using the dark room.
For two years he worked with one of the first Italian private television companies. In 1978 he set up his own photographic studio working for companies and advertising agencies.
Passionate about mountains, his photography favours nature and landscape. Since 1981 he has been showing his work in one man shows and group exhibitions. He collaborates with several painters and sculptors photographing their works. Since 2002 he has developed a strong interest in stereoscopic photography, researching both its technical and expressive aspects.