INTO THE SILENCE
Artist: Carlo Bevilacqua / Italy
A new utopia? A distant reality? Forget it. Here’s another consequence of the din of the modern world. Hermits have not disappeared. They are a growing and fascinating phenomenon, instead. They don’t indulge in the search for isolation for social or personal ambitions, neither it’s a matter of misanthropy. They hold graduate degrees and well established jobs. Most of them come from a religious background but there are also many laymen amongst them: architects, doctors, directors, writers, teachers. Regardless their own habits prayer, meditation and silence are crucial to them. Some of them have an e-mail address, some others completely refuse technology. Some of them pose for pictures while others do not grant an interview, even an unrecorded one. Some use the voicemail as a filter for calls, others answer the phone just once a day. Laymen or religious, Catholics or Orthodoxes, shaman healers: these are the contemporary hermits whose powerful and fascinating effect lies mostly in their presence and witnessing. Sometimes they live isolated in small apartments in the heart of our cities but most often they choose to dwell in the woods or in small villages. The early pioneers of the solitary life made their first appearance in France, Canada and Italy at the beginning of the 80’s. The western hermitage – after the extraordinary flowering of the early Christianity age and of the High Middle Age – disappeared from the 19th century to the first half of the 20th. However from the beginning of the 60’s, someone have begun to reconsider it as a lifestyle, not a mere religious choice. A little, hidden but lively strong world far from the false myths and needs of our unnecessarily dizzy society.
Into The Silence is the new Carlo Bevilacqua’s long term photographic project about the contemporary hermits.
He has met and spent time with dozens of very special people who have chosen to live in solitude for religious reasons, others because they wanted to stay in touch with nature, others for love … In short, each with a different history and motivation.
He went to Mount Athos in Greece, and to Wales. He spent weeks in an Italian hermitage, at monastery in the middle of nowhere of Georgia’s desert, in the desert of the California, in France, in Southern India and Darjeeling,
He met secular hermits, Christian, Orthodox, living in caves, in cemeteries, in TeePee, fascinated by their extraordinary stories of surprising humanity which strike for the radical choice of lifestyle and for the beauty of life that flows from it.
Images from Into The Silence have already been displayed in various international festivals and galleries such as
Encontros Da Imagem – Braga (Portugal)
Open Salon Photography 2011 – Gallery Huit – Arles 2011 (France)
Photography Open Salon 2012 – China House – Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Fotonoviembre 2011 – Atlantica Colectivas – Tenerife (Spain)
Taylor Wessing Prize 2011 – National Portrait Gallery London ( UK)
SpazioFarini6 Gallery Milan PhotoFestival 2012 (Italy)
Cortona On The Move Photofestival 2012 (Italy)