March 2020. Milan is in lockdown to stop the infection with Coronavirus. He lives his battle.
Carola Guaineri enters her dark room, where darkness is a friend and images emerge silently in the development trays. A rough desert englobes the Cathedral. Milan today lives among its dunes. Crowded spaces and empty spaces, choirs in the distance and a close silence. People who disappear and souls waiting to re-live.
There is always something magical and unexpected about developing film in a darkroom. What casts the spell, however, are not so much the chemical processes as the creativity, perseverance, wait, and desire to bring what you have envisioned and created to life. Like in a dream, the video shows a crowded square that overlaps and coincides with the picture of a desert.
Photographer Carola Guaineri used a simple, yet strong metaphor to tell this time of anguished wait.
First the photo film, then the darkroom and its slow times give Carola a chance to observe pictures as they surface and turn permanent. This is how she has built her whole archive – by suggestions and meanings, a play of references with no real need to know when every photo was actually taken.
As the city experiences emptiness, time is the escape route from this tragedy.
I made this video even though I’m not a videomaker because I needed a quick tool to communicate.
My work in the darkroom is slow and magical, but to be present today I needed support from technology that allows us to feel together and share.
I think it is absolutely important to be there today, with your own means, your own creative and thinking skills.
I think of choral rather than hero because it is together that we will be able to turn the page
A crowded Duomo square is awaiting Milan.