150/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.30

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
Composition of several images

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Table X

Here we are, the monthly theme X/Y PROJECT ends today, not so the project itself, which I hope will keep running for quite some time… May you be interested in following its development, you can check its dedicated blog page.
I close the theme with the second view of the “overall table”, to show how the modularity of the “X plane” images work once they’re put one next to the other.
Here’s the table in its view from above. Quite a collection of weird characters, isn’t it?

149/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.29

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
Composition of several images

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Table Y

The monthly theme is close to the end, but the X/Y PROJECT isn’t. Actually, it just started. May you be interested in following its devolopement, you can check its dedicated blog page.
I decided to put a halt to the publishing of new characters for these last two days of the theme, and instead show you how the modularity of these images work once they’re put one close to the other.
Here’s the table in its frontal, Y, view. Wait for tomorrow to see the its view from above. I feel that, once seen one next to each other, the characters really gain something important in terms of meaningfulness and coherence.

148/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.28

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
ISO200, f/11, 1/125, raw

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Character nr.13 – X

Evelina Ambrogio, Lawyer. Creative Guest of the X/Y PROJECT.
“There are two distinct, rival and yet inescapable, forces that drive me. One pushes me to hold onto rules and integrity, the other pulls me towards freedom of expression. I recognize myself as an adult in the first one, and as the child I used to be, and I never really ceased to, in the second. Since I can’t, and don’t want to, reject any of these forces, I managed to let them separately rule my life, one at work (where I’m a lawyer) and the other during my free time (which I spend singing and playing music).
Silence, professionalism, duress, austerity, and responsibility, those are both my job’s and my need-for-rules’ features. Dynamism, fantasy, freedom of speech and expression, rhythm, and musicality, these instead are the features of both my passion for music and of my child-like lightheartedness.”

147/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.27

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
ISO200, f/11, 1/125, raw

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Character nr.13 – Y

Evelina Ambrogio, Lawyer. Creative Guest of the X/Y PROJECT.
“There are two distinct, rival and yet inescapable, forces that drive me. One pushes me to hold onto rules and integrity, the other pulls me towards freedom of expression. I recognize myself as an adult in the first one, and as the child I used to be, and I never really ceased to, in the second. Since I can’t, and don’t want to, reject any of these forces, I managed to let them separately rule my life, one at work (where I’m a lawyer) and the other during my free time (which I spend singing and playing music).
Silence, professionalism, duress, austerity, and responsibility, those are both my job’s and my need-for-rules’ features. Dynamism, fantasy, freedom of speech and expression, rhythm, and musicality, these instead are the features of both my passion for music and of my child-like lightheartedness.”

146/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.26

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
ISO200, f/11, 1/125, raw

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Character nr.13 – Y

Mario Sgueglia, Actor/Director/Artist. Creative Guest of the X/Y PROJECT.
As you should already know, Maura and I didn’t ask Mario what was his dichotomy, but we gave it to him. We did it because we wanted to have, as the thirteenth guest of the dinner table which collects the X/Y PROJECT, the most famous thirteenth guest ever and, with him, the the biggest human dichotomy ever. This way,at the exhibition at Chiostro del Bramante in Rome, we opened the project with a “first dinner” which was also a Last Dinner, with thirteen guests and twenty six photographs.
Now you see, if the thirteenth guest had to be the Christian messiah in the Y plane, then the X plane had to be its opposite, the evil itself. Because we, as humans, can be as good and pure as the son of God itself, and as bad and evil as the Devil.
The reason why we asked Mario to do this work, instead of just doing it ourselves and then finding a model to play them out, was because we needed him for more than “just” the shots. You see, at the opening of the exhibition at Chiostro del Bramante, after the audience had already seen all the first twelve characters in their twenty four portraits, we had Mario “living” the transition between the two planes of good and evil. He created, directed, and played a live performance in which the two photographs worked as the starting and ending point.
At the time X/Y PROJECT was exhibited at Chiostro del Bramante, another (way better) exhibition was on (and still is): the paintings of the Brueghel dynasty. Among the many masterpieces showed at the museum, there was “The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things” of Hieronymus Bosch. So, Mario told us “Why don’t we show the evil as the man who lives all the sins?”.
Around this idea we first staged the X plane shot, and then worked on the live performance for the opening. Especially Mario worked on it, together with his “crew”: the actors Gianluca Soli, Michela Bruni (in the photo), Chiara Ricci (in the photo), Luca Guastini, Azzurra Rocchi, and Monica Volpe, which gave life to the seven sins and the redemption of the man who can always became the “lamb of God”, and Andrea De Giuli, who did a fantastic job in recreating the lights and atmospheres we set for the photos during the live performance.

145/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.25

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
ISO200, f/16, 1/125, raw

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Character nr.13 – Y

Mario Sgueglia, Actor/Director/Artist. Creative Guest of the X/Y PROJECT.
With Mario and his character the X/Y PROJECT worked in a slightly different way. Well, more than slightly. We didn’t ask him what was his dichotomy, Maura and I. We rather told Mario what he had to work on. To create two characters on a given dichotomy. Then to tell us how he imagined it. Then we worked on that vision to implement it in our Y and X planes. Why did we do all of this? The answer is simply in the number. This is the thirteenth character of a dinner table. A table with thirteen guests is, in the Cristian world, sign of very bad luck. Because the thirteenth is going to die. As Jesus Christ did, more than two thousand years ago. He was the thirteenth then, he’s the thirteenth here, today, for the X/Y PROJECT.
Maura and I prepared the first exhibition of the X/Y PROJECT, which stayed until a few days ago at the Chiostro del Bramante (one of the finest art museums of Rome), so that it would present the first twelve of our characters (the ones I’ve been publishing for the last twenty four days) plus the symbolic thirteenth, this way bounding this first dinner of the project to the Last Dinner. Therefore, the thirteenth had to be the messiah, at least in the Y plane. The X plane had to be its opposite, the evil itself. We wanted make this first dinner like the Last Dinner so to include straight away in the X/Y PROJECT the biggest human dichotomy ever, our inner ability to be as good and pure as the sons of God itself, and as bad and evil as the Devil.
So, you see, Mario came to us with the idea that in his Y plane he would have given away all the food, the furnitures, the rich ornaments, even his clothes. He would have been covered by a mere cloth, and he would be sitting in the gesture of offering the last and only of his belongings, a glass full of wine. The reason why we asked Mario to do this work, instead of just doing it ourselves and then finding a model to play them out, was because we needed him for more than “just” the shots. But I won’t tell you what today, for that you’ll have to wait for the other shot, which I’ll publish tomorrow…

The reason why we asked Mario to do this work, instead of just doing it ourselves and then finding a model to play them out, was because we needed him for more than “just” the shots. You see, at the opening of the exhibition at Chiostro del Bramante, after the audience had already seen all the fisrt twelve characters in their twenty four portraits, we had Mario “living” the transition between the two planes of good and evil. He created, directed, and played a live performance in which the two photographs worked as the starting and ending point.

144-365 – “X-Y PROJECT” nr.24

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
ISO200, f/11, 1/125, raw

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Character nr.12 – X

Ursula Persiani, Artist & Photographer. Creative Guest of the X/Y PROJECT.
“Being one of the participants of the historical fall of the “Western Model” forces us to live an excruciating dichotomy. On one side there’s the life model they grew us up in, the “American Dream” based on speculative dynamics, while on the other side there’s the inheritance of that same model, the ruins of a world collapsing under the weight of its own products (financial, political, and societal). In the middle of this whole, here we are, each of us with a lighted up bomb. If it’s true that finding a new life model while waiting for the big explosion isn’t easy, each of us could at least try to neutralize it’s own little bomb!”

143/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.23

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
ISO200, f/16, 1/15, raw

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Character nr.12 – Y

Ursula Persiani, Artist & Photographer. Creative Guest of the X/Y PROJECT.
“Being one of the participants of the historical fall of the “Western Model” forces us to live an excruciating dichotomy. On one side there’s the life model they grew us up in, the “American Dream” based on speculative dynamics, while on the other side there’s the inheritance of that same model, the ruins of a world collapsing under the weight of its own products (financial, political, and societal). In the middle of this whole, here we are, each of us with a lighted up bomb. If it’s true that finding a new life model while waiting for the big explosion isn’t easy, each of us could at least try to neutralize it’s own little bomb!”

142/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.22

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
ISO200, f/11, 1/125, raw

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Character nr.11 – X

Eleonora Di Blasi. Creative Guest of the X/Y PROJECT.
“I live a schizophrenic dichotomy between self-preservation and self-destruction. For all the energy I put into staying in good shape, as any “young metropolitan woman” is expected to according to the current standards, I end up having more than equal frenzy fun with which I attempt to my own health.”

141/365 – “X/Y PROJECT” nr.21

Sony RX1, 35mm f2 Carl Zeiss
ISO200, f/16, 1/125, raw

X/Y PROJECT – Maura Manfredi and Luca Rossini
Character nr.11 – Y

Eleonora Di Blasi. Creative Guest of the X/Y PROJECT.
“I live a schizophrenic dichotomy between self-preservation and self-destruction. For all the energy I put into staying in good shape, as any “young metropolitan woman” is expected to according to the current standards, I end up having more than equal frenzy fun with which I attempt to my own health.”