Fotografia Europea 2024 – 19th edition
Nature loves to hide
Nature conceals its knowledge from our senses but reveals its power in ways that are at times destructive and, at other times, delicate.
As humans we seek the essential character of things – animals, plants, rocks, rivers and weather systems – in an attempt to uncover nature and understand ourselves and the world around us.
Yet humans are a part of nature; part of a larger natural organism. For all living things are connected to one another to form a ‘global body’ where boundaries dissolve or become inundated*.
However, each creature’s senses are different, depending on the survival instinct, therefore reality is perceived as multiple and mutable, fragmented and limited. Even the human mind has the ability to hide the truth from itself; from our true nature (except when dreaming). This paradoxical behaviour was of course famously summoned by Heraclitus when he ventured: Nature loves to hide.
Fotografia Europea 2024 attempts to capture nature by exploring how concealment and discovery are interconnected.
The rich and diverse photographic series brought together for this edition engage with this sense of double or co-existence as a part of all life on earth. The context is the Anthropocene and histories play out both at a hyper local scale and on the planetary stage to speak to ideas of symbiosis, sustainability and climate emergency.
It also looks to partly conjure the positive or transformative actions humans can commit amidst our species’ otherwise dominant axis of control. In the process we undiscover the individual while celebrating ecocentric consciousness to imagine new narratives, forms and interpretations, presenting the various ways concepts of nature have been depicted, and in some cases, destabilised, through photography and film in the contemporary moment.
*Daisy Hildyard, The Second Body (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017)
Tim Clark, English curator, writer and founder of 1000 Words, an online magazine that is a point of reference for contemporary photographic culture.
Walter Guadagnini is the director of CAMERA - Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, teaches History of Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and is responsible for the photography section of Il Giornale dell'Arte.
Luce Lebart is a French photography historian, an exhibition curator and a researcher working for the Archive of Modern Conflict Collection and independently. pic by Marie Rouge