Paolo Meoni has been investigating the topicality and status of photography for a long time, particularly by means of the two media of photography and video (especially meant as “picture in motion”), more than often combined among each other in a relationship of chasm and dialogue. Sometimes Meoni obtains a photographic effect from a video-sequence, as it is the case of Bound (2008), other times the photographic image becomes the subject of photography, like in Rewind (2011), or snapshots are being “animated” like in Unità residenziale d’osservazione (2009).
However, along with photography and video, Meoni also adopts “other” instruments of investigation, although these different media are still characterised by a certain degree of “indexicality of photography”, whose creative potentialities are exploited in a metalinguistic way, as with the use of a scanner in Streams (2007) or in Volumi (2013).
In the triptych entitled Polaroid (2013), both the symbol of the polaroid prêt-à-porter and photographic mimesis are denied. By dislocating and reversing polaroid films exposed to light during the stage of development, Meoni stresses the physical and chemical dimensions of photography in what is a clear reference to the photographic process. The aesthetic result of this operation recalls aesthetic abstractionism or pictorial informalism, and denies every possible connection with reality.
In Nuits saint nuit (2010) – a series that borrows more than the title from an omonimous dreamlike anthology by Michiel Leiris – Meoni loosens the relationship of similarity between sign and referent, while playing with the former’s nature of mark and highlighting its aesthetic dimension: pure scopic pulsion, now become epiphany, is immortalized in an illusion of sparks spread against darkness, suspended between reality and imagination.
Meoni, born in 1961, lives and works in Prato, a city that has certainly influenced his interest in the insistent representation of the ongoing changes that affect metropolitan outskirts due to industrial development (or retreat).