Apparently a reportage on the city of Los Angeles, on a closer look West of Here reveals its deception: the images come from the video game Grand Theft Auto V. What does the collective memory of a place that does not exist look like? To which point do we trust photography as a trace of reality?
Black and white landscapes show us queuing cars, palm trees, pylons, signs, and night lights illuminating the road. The visual research appears aligned with the historical photographic account of the American territory, which has become iconic in the images of Ruscha, Wessel, Hernandez and Divola. Yet, the city is not Los Angeles but Los Santos, a digital simulation of the Californian metropolis and its surroundings. The screenshots, taken by players all over the world and then collected from the Web, cropped and toned into black and white by Magrelli, testify to the creation of images as a ubiquitous and shared process.
From this plurality a single narrative takes shape: the city of the Studios and the film industry ironically becomes a set, a mise-en-scène. It appears familiar to us, yet in its representation pieces are missing, distances are altered. An invitation to reflect on how visual storytelling contributes to our imagination and influences our perception of reality.
Leonardo Magrelli (Italy, 1989) lives and works in Rome. Since 2017 he is part of the Duo Vaste Programme. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries such as Divari and Magazzino in Rome, Flowers Gallery in London, and Jest in Turin. In 2022 he was runner-up in the Talent Prize organized by Inside Art, won the Castelfiorentino Prize, the special mention of the Graziadei Prize, and was one of the finalists in the Terna Prize. In 2021 he was nominated for the Futures Photography program by CAMERA, he was a finalist for the Michetti Prize, and his photobook "West of Here" was published by Yoffy Press.
Via Camillo Casarini, 19 – Bologna
22-23-24-29-30 September and 1 October
11am - 9pm