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Atlas of faces. In the age of the selfie, the idea of drawing portraits of International Journalism Festival speakers might seem a little anachronistic. But let’s be honest: we still like to have our portraits done and we are generally curious to see how others see us.
The portrait idea and the map where the journalists are located is something specific to Gianluca's art. In his Untitled project he drew more than 300 advertisements of contemporary art exhibitions from all over the world, in Politicalcomics he classified and drew a myriad of news, not broadcasting news, but a sort of disordered flow collate by drawing, an images puzzle of swallowed up histories.
In the nineteenth century, photography attempted to catalogue human physiognomy in the strange experiments of Duchenne de Boulogne helped by Nadar, or Bertillon's system of anthropometric legal photography. The experiments failed. But both these research projects, which were focused on portraits, showed that drawing didn't result in something true, but always something that could or should be interpreted.
So coming back to drawing, considered as Paul Auster's experiment in truth, is a way to collect the music of chance in the faces of those who form part of a symphony without an apparent conductor: the buzz of the news, the brilliant article, the search for reason where there is no reason, all the things that normally journalists do, all these could be hidden perhaps in faces, rearranged in the map. Trying to catch the everyday work of people creating news: yes creating, for there is no news without a creator. In an age of overload and distraction, Costantini is a sort of new Bertillon, minus the intention to classify, but with the role of attentive observer of this geography of faces.
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