Marco Calí’s photographs juxtapose the time when the Brownie 127 was in use, a forward-looking era of optimism, with the present.
In Strood, large areas of terraced housing from perhaps one hundred years ago are intersected by crossroads where there is a distinctive architecture: low key and practical corner shops or pubs that once served the immediate community. Most have been converted to residential use, but in their heyday they would have been part of a lively street life, especially during summer days, making these intersections a sort of meeting point, acting like impromptu urban squares. A Brownie camera might have been in the hands of adults, who would have snapped memories of family and social life around these places.
Marco Calí, Ex-Corner Shops, Strood (2015)
Marco Calí used standard black and white 127 film. The only instruction he gave to the processor was that the prints should be with the characteristic white border and gloss finish. The photos were taken on a very sunny and hot day in July 2015, and the buildings were chosen because of their orientation to the light. With all the photos he tried to keep to a minimum cars and street furnishings appearing within the frame.
Marco Calí’s photographs will be exhibited as part of an object that is at once radio and photo album. Voice recordings of people recounting their memories of living in these streets at these times (1950s-60s) will be played through the radio speaker.
Marco Calí is is an artist and curator, whose practice investigates two aspects of narrative: how visual media, text and art convey memory, history and the passage of time, and what the English narrative is and how he (an Italian by birth) relates to it. He is interested in the relation between everyday 'reality' and artistic or creative traditions and culture, and how fiction is constructed and narrative structured. His work may take the form of drawing, photography, object-making, books, and installation. He gained an MA in Fine Art (Distinction) from Central Saint Martins. Recent exhibitions include Contemporary British Drawing, Xi'an Academy of Fine Art, China (2015).