This series of solo exhibitions is the unbiased result of different and creative minds focusing on critical contemporary themes. Like alchemists, these young photographers take the heavy lead of everyday life and turn it into gold. Through their transformative gaze, photography becomes a sharp, gilded blade able to cut into the very fabric of reality and reveal the tender, raw marrow of contemporary self-expression. The final product leads the viewer to be confronted with a myriad of diverse bodies and sensitivities inhabiting the world and raising questions on how reconciliation with the self and with others can be reached. The investigation of the subject matters occurs by means of a variety of conceptual and technical forms, yet the leitmotiv tying such artworks resides in the realization that photography has the capacity to shed light over the balances and imbalances of human connection and connectedness. Through this medium, conjugated in a plethora of approaches, life can be assessed, showcased, and ultimately confronted. The artists displaying their projects today allow us to enter four realms of philosophic and social relevance, which touch on dissociation, emotional abuse, personal enlightenment, and the value of uniqueness. Carly Frommer explores the detrimental consequences of toxic love and its aftermath; Lindsey Curabba delves deeper into the effects of her own mental health on sex, relationships, and bodily consciousness; RT looks at the territory of Hare Krishna devotees and their quest for happiness; Taylor Samuels examines the impacts of personal character on the success of a small business. By coaxing their subjects into the confines of the frame, their work conveys a new narrative – whether it’s organized religion, a love story gone wrong, living in the throes of drug-induced numbness or even entering the neon-lit sanctuary of a hairdresser, the stories exhibited within the spaces of the Florence University of The Arts show a desire to go deeper, to overthrow stigma, to parcellize trauma, and celebrate the banal.
Michelle Davis and Sofia Galli