Gabriel Bauret

A photographic exhibition within the scope of that documentary tradition to which Giorgia Fiorio's work might be said to belong, invites the visitor to discover a territory whose boundaries are measured, a social community whose composition and role the photographer hones in upon. Or rather – something which, in theory, involves a different approach – the coherence of the images is to be sought in the links which these establish more or less explicitly with their author, with a life, with passions, obsessions. Yet the bond woven here between the photographs is, it seems, of another order. It partakes of a desire on the part of the photographer to show her work accomplished until now, as well as the more or less embryonic stages of subjects to come. Considerations of time and place fade into the background; in other words we are invited to take our leave of the documentary field per se. The fragments of reportage which Giorgia Fiorio has already published in the form of several books and which relate to different male communities around the world are here brought into the spotlight of a theme whose title "figure" evokes, for many of us, a rhetorical notion: an ensemble of stylistic approaches, which do not simply have to do with the configuration of the image, but touch upon the very nature and rhythm of the message conveyed. This message epitomises a certain vision of man, of the human, of humanity, with each of these terminological variants, and indeed each language, adding its own particular semantic nuance. Giorgia Fiorio thus explores this vast universe by choosing to set her own limits. Amongst others, she has shown us miners, boxers, firemen and sailors, but in reality, what we see, is always something more than the mere activity of these men: She has attempted to convey an image of physical force, of mental resilience, of sensibility and fragility too. And this quest has been undertaken throughout with an acute awareness of photographic form, a rigour with regard to framing, perspective, and the values of black and white. This exhibition today constitutes a new stage in the rereading of what has been done and in the prefiguration of that which remains to be done in the world of man.