Roberta Foglino – 2011
In THE OTHER DOLL the expressive purpose is a double one: on one hand, the woman-object theme is indeed evoked; she is reduced to a petty “thing” since she is deprived of the nobility of her soul – on the other, the object-doll is charged with such an expressive strength that it recalls the woman as the Person deprived of her own human dignity. Such interchanging duality of the relationship between living creature – endowed with a sensitive and consdous dimension – and lifeless thing; and still, between humanized doll and the person as an object turns out to be a paradox within the paradox itself.
The artist assumes “the doll” as the effect of the woman’s rei-fication and he uses it as the starting point of its representa-tion. He defrauds it of its nature (the one of an object); he deprives it of its “soul” to provide it with another, to charge it with dramatic nature and truthfulness recalling the Person. What results is an unexpected overturn, which, as such, it is extremely disapproving, provocative, nipping.
Francesca Vergari – 2010
Silent. Off. Absent enough to overturn the meaning of life.
They are offended women, disfigured in their innermost being and stripped of every memory, source of life.
Women subjected to memories of livid shame, in which they are not protagonists of success or creation as per the primordial design, but extras on a stage of oppression and torment.
Tortured in body and psyche, they bear scars that have reached their souls, healed just enough not to ignite the lowest popular prejudice, of those who look but do not observe, of those who know but prefer to remain silent.
A research born from the idea of contrasting the stereotype of woman as a doll object of physical pleasure deprived of any will, the primordial feminine matrix gift of nature itself.
Symbol also of carefree childhood in pink hues, the doll often embodies in the collective imagination a princely vision of their future, unconsciously underestimating the other side of the coin.
Depriving her of this fairy-tale aura, Leonardi uses her to represent the violence suffered by women.
The doll herself, as a queen, is defeated by the muffled world of fairy tales to be projected into the tangible one where there are no Cinderellas or Prince Charming, no castles or secret treasures.
Defrauded of her dreams, the doll embodies the fulfillment of other people’s will, the executor of orders, to satisfy the format congenital in male chauvinist cultures.
To such purpose it is used from Leonardi to emphasize the consequences of the violences profuse on the women: evil and often unpunished acts, that darken of a sad and irretrievable chador thousand of destinies in the way, in cutaways of life captured in the immobility of a shot.
A subtle game of lights and shadows, to reveal uncomfortable but actual realities, bitter and bitter but present truths, is the panorama offered by Leonardi in his photographic research, discreet and strong at the same time: images with a rough message, without transparencies or intermediate steps, that reach with immediacy the aim of information and the heart of the problem.
His dolls are unarmed, as if subjugated, but this time by the will of the photographer, leaving no room for interpretation, metaphor, a foolish symbolism that too often justifies the flaws of cultural relativism.
So the bruises, the scars, the cyanotic signs, the tears arrive to the spectator with the same emphasis of reality, real and raw as real and raw are the causes that generate them.
This is the cultural leap that is necessary so that the bad masters of advertising and the media do not perpetuate the clichés of the “faithful and sexy” woman to the bitter end, or in any case subject to the will of an overly virile demiurge.