Gabriele Corni

These water portraits reveal the emotional variety of humans In distress... An archive of 100 water portraits exhibited in an “imaginary venue” where the space created by Claudio Silvestrin interacts with water, shaping an innovative work accessible thanks to the technological realization of Vitruvio Virtual Reality.

In this project, water represents the everyday. The casing that contains us. I find it very interesting to portray people in apnea. Each time I am fascinated to see that – while breathless – we are forced to abandon any ideal projection of ourselves. The awareness of “being portrayed” and the resulting effort to “look good” are completely undermined by the urgent and inalienable need to breathe.

Apnea reveals our self-control, forcing us to violently experience our deep attachment to breath.

I wanted to interpret this condition as a “state of procured sincerity”. An unusual investigation into the surfacing of emotions and expressiveness

Our strength, character and sensitivity can be frozen in a reportage-style image. There are no places, neither contingencies but lonely individuals, facing their own limitations. A real struggle, which suggests an analogy with the more or less prolonged apnea in our everyday life.

In water as in life, we experience more or less “submerged” states of awareness – of ourselves, of our desires and real objectives. Every person I portrayed I asked to write a desire, that in the poetic of the work stands for their breath, their personal...

The subjects of this project are people of any age, ethnics and social belonging. They could be employees, professionals, refugees, or students. Gabriele Corni coaches his models to assess their deeply rooted emotions in an innovative art approach that, otherwise, people won’t experience in the normal circumstance. (
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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