“That was bear meat. Now, many years have passed, and I regret having eaten so little of it. I think and hope that each of you has gleaned from life what I have. Well, none of these things, not even remotely, has the taste of bear meat: the taste of being strong and free, which means free to make mistakes; the taste of being your own master, which means master of the world.”
Primo Levi, The Periodic Table, Iron.
The project aims to provide a vision on the fragile relationship between human and nature through an investigation into the ethical, symbolic and anthropological evolution of conservation practices adopted over time to protect the Apennine bears. Juxtaposing contemporary photographs with historical images from the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park’s archive presented as “evidence” for factual context, the work brings attention to the anthropocentric approach behind the supposed objectivity of conservation efforts – the aesthetic and symbolic identification with animals as well as our longings projected on nature. It’s a reflection on humanity’s role in conservation endeavors and the subjective factors that drive our choices to protect nature and consequentially define it.
Carlo Lombardi (b. 1988), based between Milan (Italy) and Vilnius (Lithuania), works on long-term projects and commissions using a multidisciplinary approach that involves photography, archive and text. His praxis reflects on how photography can open the space for questioning our motives and desires – bringing out the paradoxes that clash with our beliefs and values, revealing how much they are influenced by the cultural and political context in which the observation takes place. In his projects, he often delves into identification of collective symbols and biases behind singular narratives
of exclusion. Since 2018, he has been collaborating with photographer Miriam Stanke as a collective, addressing topics such as the aftermath of war, national identity and transgenerational trauma.