© Boris Mikhailov

CRASH – a clash, an accident, a fall, a collision, a permanent fracture. CRASH is a thrill, an emotion, fear, pain, death and panic. Having to start over from square one. CRASH is rebirth, hope, liberation, revolution, desire and the stimulus to continue to grow. CRASH is trauma, depression, defeat, a black hole, slipping downwards, into the darkness. CRASH is destruction and construction, stasis and dynamicity, contrast, friction, between past and present, between concreteness and abstraction, spirit and matter. CRASH is made up of bodies, planets, towns, firms, vehicles, cultures, religions, ideas and images. CRASH razes everything to the ground, but then from that blackish, calcified surface, a timid, innocent blade of grass pokes through. A symbol of the desperate need for undying life. And the new fields, bushes and then forest that grow there will wipe out the memory of what was there before in the blink of an eye.

For us, CRASH is an obstacle course, a scenario in constant evolution, one in which with every gaze we may pickout something new while something else disappears. It’s a
metamorphic and metaphoric landscape, an unforeseeable sequence of thunder rolls and lightning bolts, a pyrotechnical game spinning out of control. CRASH is a bad dream that turns into reality but then evaporates in a crimson cloud with the onset of dusk.

CRASH is a gust of wind on your face, one which suddenly turns into a raging storm, halting you in your tracks, making you march on the spot. It forces you to reflect, and at times, that might not be a bad thing. CRASH shows you places where you never thought to look; it makes you turn your head and forces you to step back and take in the view of the whole, beckoning you closer to grasp the tiniest of details. It lifts you up above the clouds only to then plunge you down into the deep icy waters of the unconscious mind.

CRASH is Arnold Odermatt in his flawless police uniform. CRASH is Boris Mikhailov climbing over the gates of the great abandoned crematory in Kiev. CRASH is the young utopians of the ECAL who discover the truth about utopia on Monte Verità. CRASH is all the others, along with their images, be they still or moving, single or multiple, in black and white or in colour. With their spot-on projects, their reasoning perhaps still a little confused yet which will soon become clear.

CRASH is a flow of ideas that runs no risk of drying up, one that skids, brakes but then sets off again even faster than before. It’s a fragile yet flexible construction, within which everyone may find their own place and their own point of view. CRASH is photographs, films, words, Polaroids and photographic novels. Time, places, appointments, times and programmes. Two years squeezed into two months. Most of all, CRASH is people who want to express themselves, communicate, speak out, shout out and freak out. Because with CRASH anything can happen, although everyone keeps wondering what kind of world it would be without CRASH.


Antonio Mariotti

ABi – Associazione Biennale dell’immagine