"If we approach the painting of Felice Varini with the aim of describing it, in its fundamental components, the most productive concepts - in particular those of 'vantage point', 'focus' and 'framing' - all closely related to the vocabulary of photography. If we begin with the device Varini employs in each of his artworks, the differences between painting and photography are, effectively, reduced to a minimum. The artist's work, concentrating on the problem of falsehood of images in relation to the truth of perception, makes use of photography, going so far as to equate it with painting in the strategies of constitution and unmasking of iconic status. The roots of photography - the 'machine Ó dessiner' and the camera obscura - closely connect it to the tools of the painter. Photography demonstrates the functioning of perspective as a construct based on the fixed gaze and monocular vision, thus radicalizing the theme of painting as illusion: 'in the window and in the photograph the framed world seems to inscribe and represent itself in an immediate manner' (1)."
1). Johannes Meinhardt, La realtÓ dell'illusione estetica. Le 'trappole visive' di Felice Varini, Lugano, Edizioni Studio Dabbeni, 1999, p. 29. The definition machine Ó dessiner dates back to France in the 17th century. On the forerunners of the camera, see: Heinrich Schwarz, Arte e fotografia, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri, 1991.
Dino Felluga (Purdue University West Lafayette)
The techniques used by film to make us forget the camera that is really doing the looking. Laura Mulvey argues that there are, in fact, three looks implied by film: 1) the look of the camera itself; 2) the look of the audience watching the film; and 3) the look of the characters on screen. In traditional Hollywood cinema, we are invited (through various tricks of editing, camera angles, etc.) to identify with the look of the male characters so that we will forget the mechanical look of the camera and our own invested look at the screen. As Kaja Silverman explains, "This sleight-of-hand involves attributing to a character within the fiction qualities which in fact belong to the machinery of enunciation: the ability to generate narrative, the omnipotence and coercive gaze, the castrating authority of the law".