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ALBA ZARI   ︎  ︎  ︎  ︎  ︎   


The Y


160  Pages / 16.5 x 24 cm
Soft cover  / 500 copies
Design by Studio Iknoki
Curated by Francesca Seravalle
Thanks to support of Collezione Donata Pizzi
Published in June 2019
Out of print

How deep is the sea

Luminous Phenomena

Testo in catalogo: Chiara Bardelli Nonino
Formato: 12x17 cm cartonato
Pagine: 96
Lingua: Inglese, italiano e francese
Tiratura: 200 copie numerate
ISBN 97888 6726 2564


Chiara Bardelli Nonino

When Alba asked me to write a piece for this

project and I asked her what this was about, she

simply sent me two YouTube links: Crystal by the

Fleetwood Mac and How Deep is the Ocean by

Chet Baker. Then she added: it describes love

and relationships like if they were stormy seas.

The underwater photos are a recurrent topic in

the contemporary photographic world, and for

a simple fact: water, with its straight-forward

references to the ideas of life and rebirth, with

its allusion to the mother’s womb, has such an

eradicated symbology in our culture, that acts
effortlessly on the visual subconscious of each

of the viewers.

But there is nothing easy or calculated in Alba’s

photos. They do not come from a research of

common aesthetic satisfaction: they are part of a

very personal, spontaneous project, the natural

expression of an artist that divides her own

cultural identity between Trieste and Thailand,

and she is therefore used to border areas and to


By looking at her pictures, I thought about the

concept used in astronomy to find a habitable

planet: the so-called “Goldilocks Zone”, that area

which is not too far and not too close to a star

where it is possible to find water at a liquid state

and so, potentially, life.

How Deep Is The Sea (this is the name that

Alba Zari gave to this photo series) is a sort of

Goldilocks Zone of relationships, a hypothetical

and abstract space in which relations - from the

stormiest to the calmest, from rough sea to flat

sea, if we want to continue using water metaphors

- can survive.

Outside this area, there is darkness, emptiness

and memory.

Alba uses the sea like a limbo in which shapes

fade out, the body language gets interrupted,

the familiar gestures evolve. In that space of

uncertainty, Alba enacts her liminal portraits,

by trying to capture something very close to the

essence of her connection to the photographed

person, in a continuous fluctuation where subject

and photographer are intertwined, and it looks

like they occasionally belong one another.

There’s a line in Crystal saying: “I turned around

and the water was closing all around like a

glove, / like the love that had finally, finally found

me”. In those images representing naked and

submerged bodies, Alba decides to lose control

and to let herself be completely wrapped in

feelings of that moment, at times stormy, at times

sweet, at times turbid, at times crystal-clear, at

times deep, at times light. Like love.