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Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects Nekyia by Rocco Venezia as Book of the Week.
NekyiaBy Rocco Venezia Witty Kiwi, 2017.
Christian Michael Filardo picks Nekyia by Rocco Venezia from Witty Kiwi as Book of the Week.

"A man dressed as a beekeeper mirrors a decaying statue, metal reinforcement is exposed, peeking through ancient stone. How many tombs must we walk through? How many graves must we step on to reach hell? Taking ancient metaphor and photographic storytelling to another level, Rocco Venezia parallels the myth of Persephone being trapped in the underworld with the narrative of Greece’s economic collapse. While this is interesting to think about while looking at Venezia’s images, I find that many, if not most, of the images in Nekyia stand on their own regardless of this clever concept.

Water flows downhill, flows down limestone, and froths on the shore. A nude man begins his descent into a massive body of water while an older gentleman becomes an implied Charon on Acheron’s river. All the while Venezia lets the flash fly, balancing overexposure and underexposure. Finding the light in darkness, illuminating bats and clergy lingering in the shadows. There are four red images in a row, a statue covered in a plastic tarp mimicking a poncho, two images, back-to-back, of bloody fish guts and eyes, and then a woman sitting in a red chair with big hair. Something about the red launches this book into an almost theatrical realm. This makes Nekyia feel like an authentic attempt to use contemporary photography to reframe ancient myth.

With its own unique type of directness, Nekyia offers almost everything one could desire from a photobook. There is history, modern day relevance, and the photographs are both visually and compositionally intriguing. Truly a must have for any fan of contemporary European photography."  — Christian Michael Filardo

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NekyiaBy Rocco Venezia Witty Kiwi, 2017.
NekyiaBy Rocco Venezia Witty Kiwi, 2017.

Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino-American composer and photographer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He recently had a solo exhibition called Tumbleweed Replica at Current Space in Baltimore, MD and is the current shipping manager at photo-eye bookstore.

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