As a modern storyteller, Groppi mixes cards and genres, giving his works a caustic lyricism that deliberately does not offer solutions or panaceas, but is rather an attempt at trying to shake us from widespread social and emotional inertia.
The analogue photographs, resulting from a lucid and disillusioned conceptuality, work on de coup de théatre or as in the earlier illustrious works of Duchamp and Man Ray, play on the double linguistic and semantic meanings: they also focus our attention on the vices, falsehoods and stereotypes of society, on the compulsion to appear, bringing to light the widespread existential malaise eating away at energies and values.
The characters, removed from their usual context, reinvent themselves through the careful direction and the complicit eye of the author: affectless figures, prey to a communicative entropy that freezes gestures and looks, often emerge from these photo sets. The slick appeal of managers, salesmen and models then starts to fracture and crack wide open, family ties become inextricable shackles, the bright surface of reality loses its enamel and slips into the illogical territories of surreal logic.
These are not simple poses, but interpretations and mise-en-scene that shy away from elaborate sets in favour of a few wisely chosen elements: a disposable razor becomes the tool that strips away the mask of hypocrisy, the medicine samples of the Informatore Scientifico (“Scientific Representative”) become a macabre boomerang, girls “sold” daily by the media and magazines, are nothing more than do-it-yourself kits, a collection of parts to assemble and dismantle at will.
Each diptych becomes consideration, an open story, behavioural analysis; from the succession of works, drenched with citations and cultural references, the narrative coherence and stylistics of the author become clear, but above all we understand his love for photography: a treasure trove of projects, techniques and theories but especially a goddess, friend and confidant.
TEXT BY LORELLA KLUN
©pictures Gian Luca Groppi
Represented by Vision QuesT gallery