Tuesday 20 January 2009

Danilo Murru

All images ©Danilo Murru

"This series of portraits is the result of one afternoon spent in Bethlehem. As I was walking along the “infamous” wall my attention was captured by two slabs of concrete, these were clean and stood out compared to the rest of the structure covered in graffiti and political statements. On these two slabs I visualised the stage of this project. I positioned the camera directly opposite the big wall with the intention of creating a sort of intimate space where the wall would have worked as a backdrop in a photographic studio. After positioning the camera I started inviting the local passers-by to enter this portion of space and pose for a photograph standing with their backs against the wall. On the other side is Israel! During this process, which lasted for the whole afternoon, I was very interested in my personal interaction with these generous and patient strangers and their personal interaction with the wall that has been imposed on their everyday lives. As I was proceeding with my work I paid particular attention to the way I was positioning the subject in relation to the line between the two concrete slabs, and I imagined this to be the centre of balance of this body of work but above all of their lives in Palestine. This line assumes a very symbolic meaning and can be read in two ways: A separation within the separation, in which case would leave them even more enclosed inside the barrier, or a crack in the wall which symbolises a ray of light meaning a constructive dialogue with the opposite side of the wall."

This is an extract from Danilo Murru´s personal statement for his Bethlehem Project. While the idea is very pertinent and I am in no doubt as to what he is trying to do and say with these photographs, they are just lacking a certain umpf in my opinion. Nevertheless, his website is still worth a visit as there is some nice photography up there but will require a lot of patience to rummage through all the images; he would benefit enormously from laying out the various bodies of work in a more user-friendly format see you can actually see what is what.

Danilo Murru was born in Italy in 1973 but now lives and works in London as a freelance fine art photographer. He has a BA (hons) Photography - London College of Printing - 2003 and is currently undertaking a MA Photography and Urban Cultures - Goldsmiths - University of London which he will finish in 2010. He has been exhibiting in various solo and group exhibitions in Italy and England, the most recent of which was Borderspaces at London Schwartz Gallery in November 2008 with Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Simon Norfolk, Tom Hunter, Stephen Gill, Ali Richards, David Spero and Nana Varveropoulou. He has a bright future ahead of him, of that I am sure.