Paolo Topy Rossetto Photographer - End

END 2012

In “End”, Paolo Topy explores a very particular kind of geography, a corporal geography charting unfamiliar territories, one that is indistinctly defined yet, in the proximity characterising the urban environment in which we live, so close to us. They are those of an anonymous, silent, unspeakable life story. Every tattoo is like a cry that, despite everything, tells of this long and difficult itinerary, a Way of the Cross whose end is foretold, too often premature and tragic. Executed using simple and empirical techniques, they are modest, intimate and touching witnesses, far removed from facile if not sterile fashions in which gratuitous aesthetics are more important than what they might signify, in a studied ostentation verging on the grotesque. Tattoos naturally play a role in the appropriation of our body – the last place that the abandoned or the disadvantaged, who have nothing but themselves, can truly call their own. Made primarily for ourselves, as an imperative and at any cost, tattoos bear witness to our life. A life that society does not want to see, in a form of denial tainted with ignorance, refusal and inevitably fear. A person who signs themself in this manner is creating their own mythology, telling their own story, creating their own markers in a world offering none. In fact their meaning only makes sense in this extreme intimacy between the body and the person inhabiting it. It is a spontaneously shared, immediate intimacy, which reveals a body damaged by life, carrying the indistinct signs of addiction, illness and suffering as well as tattoos; a body that comes across suddenly and surprisingly like a sacred domain with a brutal and disturbing beauty. Unveiled, it tells of its lives that are exposed, for a while, to the photographer’s gaze.

Yves Peltier

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