Feral Absences

  • Photographer
    Alfonso De Gregorio
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Company/Studio
    Escaping Photons
  • Date of Photograph
    July 2017 - July 2018
  • Technical Info
    Infra red 590nm, Crop, Video surveillance infra-red illuminators

Oscillating between essay and fiction, Feral Absences reflects upon the mournings in the lives of a band of semi-feral horses and of their groom. Unable to bridge both the loneliness and the grief resulting from the losses, the characters go back with their memories to the time spent together and evoke the spirit of their lost friends. The process reflects such inability by resorting on video surveillance infra-red illuminators as the only light source lighting the new-moon night scenes. These lights lay outside the visible spectrum; invisible to both the subjects and the photographer.

Story

Lonely midsummer nights. It is not clear to me the where, or whether this was a dream or real, as there was no witness to it. Oscillating between essay and fiction, Feral Absences reflects upon a series of mournings in the lives of band of semi-feral horses and of their groom. Unable to bridge both loneliness and grief resulting from the losses, they go back with their memories to the time spent together and evoke the spirit of their friends. The process reflects such inability by resorting on video surveillance infra-red illuminators as the only light source lighting the new-moon night scenes. These lights lay outside the visible spectrum. As such they cannot be seen, just like the lost friends, by all mammals – photographer included. By repurposing imaging technology for doing video surveillance to the photographic space the lays at the intersection of fine-art and documentary, Alfonso De Gregorio intends to turn surveillance technology towards himself; to record in his images the resulting introspective investigations. Like humans, horses suffer the loss of their family members. In a sense, the prairie, and its inhabitants, are the allegory of our feeling of loneliness. In a society which is growing increasingly interconnected and interdependent, we are in fact living the paradox of aloneness. Confined behind a screen, alienated in the crowd of big cities, or taken thousands miles away from the affection of the loved ones by frequent trips, we live more and more often a solitary existence. A new chapter in the evolution of social animals — I suppose. The reality is that competitiveness, inequality, and addiction to technology are promoting aloneness at the societal level. These issues are sociological in nature. How do we cope with the resulting distress? — “Loneliness, thy other name, thy one true synonym, is prairie.” — William A. Quayle, The Prairie and the Sea (1905)

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