Marco Maria Zanin – IT

Marco Maria Zanin nasceu em Pádua, Itália, em Outubro de 1983.
Ele primeiro se formou em Literatura e Filosofia, e em seguida em Relações Internacionais, obtendo o grau de Mestre em Psicologia. Ao mesmo tempo, ele desenvolveu sua carreira artística, e amplamente explorada em diferentes partes do mundo, colocando em prática o “deslocamento” tão essencial para uma análise crítica dos contextos sociais, e para abastecer sua pesquisa. Mito e arquétipo como as matrizes submersas de comportamento moderno são o foco de sua investigação, que é baseada na observação da relação entre o homem, território e tempo. Seu instrumento de escolha é a fotografia, que é muitas vezes usada com a combinação de diferentes técnicas, transcendendo as fronteiras desta disciplinas artísticas.

“Minha pesquisa se desenvolve na análise e comparação dos dois opostos: o que pertence ao mundo das “raízes”, do mito e do arquétipo de um lado, e, por outro lado, os fenômenos da superestrutura da era moderna.
Os materiais para a minha investigação são os sinais de que o homem deixa na paisagem e ao longo do tempo, como a arquitetura, os instrumentos de trabalho, objetos que expressam a relação do homem com o tempo em que ele vive, na civilização do passado e de hoje. Quando os elementos pertencem a diferentes épocas, eu os sobreponho, removendo-os do seu contexto e jogando um contra o outro. A fotografia me ajuda a reconectar realidade física com espaços metafísicos que se entrelaçam com os lugares mais profundos da identidade humana, onde o silêncio, mais do que qualquer descrição, é o caminho que nos leva mais perto de tocar o que nos rodeia. Neste “espaço fusão ‘, onde o passado e o presente se sobrepõe, também ocorre a possibilidade de construir um canal entre as duas temporalidades.”


Marco Maria Zanin was born in Padua in October 1983.
He first took a degree in Literature and Philosophy, and then in International Relations, obtaining a Master’s degree in Psychology. At the same time he developed his artistic career, and travelled widely in different parts of the world, putting into practice the “displacement” so essential for a critical analysis of social contexts, and to fuel his research aimed at identifying the common spaces of the human community.
Myth and archetype as the submerged matrices of modern behaviour are the focus of his investigation, which is based on observation of the relationship between man, territory and time.
His instrument of choice is photography, which is often used combining different techniques and transcending the borders of other artistic disciplines.

Lives and works between Padua and São Paulo, Brazil.

Marco Maria Zanin’s Demonumento

Alessandra Mauro

The materials of the collective memory and of its scientific form, History, come in two main forms: the document, understood as the historian’s choice, and the monument, understood as a legacy from the past (that which survives is not the sum of that which existed in the past but a choice made by both the forces that operate in the temporal evolution of the world and humanity, and by historians, those who are assigned to the study of the past and times past.)

Jacques Le Goff

Some years ago, Jacques Le Goff wrote a memorable essay about the relationship between document, monument and memory.

Documents are the clues from which we reconstruct the thread of memory, fragile and tenuous traces of a past to be recreated. Pieces of a puzzle that it is up to us, witnesses of the present, to put together in the most appropriate way, with the detachment that enough distance allows (that of historians, but after all, also that of photographers). Only in this way can documents become a testimony to that which we have experienced. Memory full of meaning, cultural references, examples. In a word, monument.

Marco Maria Zanin attempts a journey that is laborious, difficult, fascinating and desperate through these same themes. And he does it with the conscious wonder of one who is ready to be surprised by what he might find.

His is a journey in time and space, following the traces of many lives lived and suffocated, vanished yet in some way still present in the maze of concrete that like a great monument to oblivion constitutes the crazed urban fabric of a city like São Paulo.

It is there, among these buildings that block the horizon, that are populated with windows like the only openings into the most intimately private sphere, that are covered in graffiti like grandiose designs, letters of a macro-alphabet that shouts its presence to the world but which will soon be covered with other letters and other shouts, that we have to look for the fragile remains of lives lived and try to give a name and a story to those who have been erased from history.

In the city’s fragmented skyline, between one building and another, appear the bare, mysterious interiors of an old, abandoned Italian hospital. And as after a shipwreck the remains of destroyed ships float to the surface of the water, now those faded images, rectangles of photographic paper covered with the mists of time, appear on the surface between the concrete and the road.

Those objects piled casually on an old table, like domino tiles to be deciphered; that crank, who mechanism grinds memories instead of corn, and more than anything, those photographs face down, like cards still to be played and of which we know only the backs, mute and enigmatic.

Marco Maria Zanin’s work is certainly an artistic enterprise: trying to find, if they still exist, the remains of a personal and collective memory so fundamental for Brazil, but also for our country, like that of early 20th century migration to the great cities of South America. And yet it is not only this. It is also the conscious act of an historian who tries to reconnect these remains to each other, to give back the thread of identity and journeys with the optimistic approach and bright soul of one who thinks it is something not only possible but necessary.

Above all, Marco Maria Zanin’s is also the typical act of a photographer: find an image, retrieve it from many possible hidden corners, reveal it, that is, and bring it into the light.

It is precisely this act of the photographer that forms the core and the explanation of the entire installation. At its centre, as at the centre of his questioning himself about the sense of being a photographer today, Marco places the back of a large photographic print. On closer inspection, the apparently anonymous surface, bare, pallid, furrowed with light scars of time, can say a lot if questioned properly.

It is there that the sense of every photograph rests. Not so much in the image but in its documentary residue, in the signs of time that the rectangle of paper has experienced, recording its every passage, every existential vicissitude, just as happens with lines on the faces of men. Because every photograph is above all a document, and questioning those signs could mean reversing the entropy of history, rediscovering a value in the loss of meaning and building a monument where there is solely its opposite – the de-monument.

The author is well aware, however, that this process is a voluntary horizon more than a tangible truth, but he can only go forward, trying and re-trying with the knowledge that, as Le Goff says, “the document-truth does not exist. Each document is a lie. It is up to the historian (but we could say the artist or the photographer) not to be naïve”.

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