“When you’re losing sight, the world starts to appear fragmented, like through a broken screen. Then you stop understanding where light comes from.” – Dale Layne
The blind live in a sighted world. They have to function in a system constructed on the rules of seeing. Many of them could once see, but after going blind they were forced to reinvent their identity and relationship to the world after years of a sighted life.
Over the course of two years, photographer Gaia Squarci was guided by the blind and visually impaired in an exploration of their lives. Her interest was sparked from the disconnect between the popular concept of blindness as a metaphor and its reality. Stripped of its mysterious aura, the blindness of daily life, the one that’s not heard in the words of a song, often turns out to be scary, disquieting and kept at a distance.
The exhibition Broken Screen displays images, text in the form of visual description and audio fragments from interviews, following a loose thread of individual stories. The photographs are characterized by a strongly subjective sense of space and shapes, a reminder that “photography offers just a version of reality, not reality itself”.
L’Oeil de la Photographie encourages the blind, the visually impaired and the sighted to experience the show by keeping all senses alert, contemplating and dialoguing about the nature and limitations of vision.
Gaia Squarci is a freelance photographer and videographer based in New York City. Raised in Milan, Italy, she graduated in Art History from University of Bologna in 2010, interning at Grazia Neri photoagency during her studies. In 2011 she moved to New York to attend the photojournalism program at ICP, International Center of Photography. Gaia currently collaborates with Reuters and Sipa USA. Her work appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Time Magazine, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, BBC and Reuters Full Focus among others.
Andrea Cancellieri is a visual artist and performer born and raised in Milan, Italy. He majored in Engraving in 2014 from Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, and his research ranges from digital media to raw materials and assemblage. Andrea has worked as a designer with advertising companies, fashion brands, magazines and film productions.
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