Silver 2015 / Book / People (Non-Pro)

Atlas of Soul

  • Prizes
    Silver in Book (Series Only)/People
  • Photographer
    enrico berni

There is a human condition in which the speech fades. When the ability to communicate with words is estinguished or impaired, to human beings remain gestures and facial expressions to convey their emotions, thoughts and fantasies. Hundreds of muscles that animate our faces, often unconsciusly, speak an archaic and powerful language, transforming our features in ancient masks, either tragic or comic, giving corporality and tangibleness to the infinite nuances of our hearts. These portraits represent the testimony of an extreme condition of human life, when the body is transformed, disfigured by suffering or by old age, when the intellect becomes dull and the emotions get extreme. What emerges from these visages, is nothing but the infinite range of our emotions, released from the decorum of good manners, from the social conventions and cultural superstructures, so that they become a powerful metaphor of the absolute human condition. Subtracted to the sift of rationality, these gazes and facial contractions bring to light the human universality that characterizes us: tears, laughter, dismay, anger, nostalgia, abandonment, loneliness. The lens captures the moment when emotions emerge in full-strenght, and the photograph transforms expressions in symbolic motions of universal significance, freezing statically what in the face is usually movement. I portraited Nara, Cristina, Alessandro, Riccardo, Vodena, Mario, Maria Luisa, Lina during the facial muscles sessions of physiotherapy, occurred in a nursing home located in Florence, Italy. In this hosting structure, it ‘s firmly believed that a work of rehabilitation and facial mimicry exercises are fundamental in their patients, elderly or suffering from senile or psychic disorders, in order not to let them lose the capability of handle the use of this important form of language.