"O Rose, thou art sick!

The invisible worm

That flies in the night,

In the howling storm

 

Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy:

And his dark secret love

Does thy life destroy."

 

(William Blake)

 

 

A man and a woman naked on the background of a brutal and hostile landscape. This is Marco Lando’s scenery for his work Exile, a story focusing on the moments that follow Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the earthly paradise. The exile is the inexorable condition of the contemporary man, suddenly deprived of the Edenic state. Isolated, devoid of values, individualist, subjectivist, as Norman Manea says, the contemporary man suffers from egocentrism, and from the loss of the horizon of human values.


The man, as pictured by Marco Lando, has fallen into an hostile context represented by a barren landscape: since he lives in a state of intellectual inferiority, he follows his most primal instincts becoming an animal moving through the landscape as a beast in an everlasting hunt. While the man thrown out of paradise suffers from a pathological anger, the woman lives in an anxious state of regression, and laying on the rocks in a fetal pose she shows emotions of deep fragility, vulnerability, loneliness, and fear. The time in Lando's images is suspended, frozen: the two figures are captured in a constant and inherent tension state which never lets go.

 

Marco Lando employs symbols as powerful metaphorical tools, revealing the deep meanings of the shots. Among these, we can see the tree trunk as a metaphor of violence in its most primal and brutal form. The mirror is a symbol of a great metaphorical power, alluding to the search for knowledge. In the realm of Platonic philosophy the speculum is the cave in which the philosopher carries out his search for the truth and the dismantling of appearances, where the thinking process is reasoning and knowledge. Moreover, in Freud's and Jung's modern psychology the mirror is the instrument of self-knowledge, a gnotis autòn that helps to reach the subconscious. In Lando’s images the woman always turns her back to the mirror as if she was in a deep, intimate fear. 

 

Lastly, the night vase is repeatedly coupled to the feminine figure as a symbol of primal corporeality. The blanket in the form of a cloak, used by the woman to cover herself, becomes a sort of hermit dress designed to remove from the woman's body the signs of her femininity, in order to force upon herself a path of atonement.


In Marco Lando’s photographs the natural sceneries are deliberately barren and wild, apparently witnessing the lack of the divine. Yet in many shots the divine returns in the form of a sky populated by clouds, as if they are traversed by a supernatural feeling.

 

                                                                                         GLENDA CINQUEGRANA