Gaia Squarci

Gaia Squarci

Italy, born in 1988

Starting with the fact that the blind have to live in a sighted world and are subjected to its rules and modus operandi, Gaia Squarci’s interest focuses on people who lost their sight at one point during their lifetime, and thus who have had to reconstruct their identity and their relationship to the world. The Italian artist thereby deploys the concept of blindness as a metaphor for a reality she invites viewers to experience in Broken Screen. Each section of her installation comprises a black-andwhite photograph that evokes this new existence, a bas-relief image, and samples of sounds. Whereas the photograph hanging on the wall is hidden behind a piece of cloth, visitors wearing headsets can listen to a description of it recorded in a loop by people of all ages and cultures — a decision designed to ensure diversity and to underscore the subjectivity of our perceptions. As they listen, visitors can familiarise themselves with the scene in the image by feeling a bas-relief of it placed just beneath the photograph. Produced from a digitized image in which the dark areas are printed out in relief, this Braille reproduction functions as a tactile pendant to the photograph taken by the artist. Both the audio and the bass-relief join to form a mental image in the mind of the beholder. Only then does he or she lift the cloth to unveil the original photograph.

The goal of the piece is to call in question the predominance of the visual in our perception of reality. In Broken Screen, Squarci appeals to visitors to ponder our reactions when exposed to diverse stimuli and thus reminds us that photography presents just one view of reality, and never reality itself.


ICP — International Center of Photography, New York, NY, United States, 2011 – 2012
University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, 2007 – 2010



Gaia Squarci from the series Broken Screen, since 2012 Installation (inkjet prints, 40 x 60 cm; basrelief prints, 20 x 30 cm and audio tracks) © Gaia Squarci © Laurence Cornet for the design © Fray DeVore for the drawings

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