Punto d'ombra
"Punto d'ombra" presenta il nuovo lavoro di Teju Cole: una serie di immagini e parole che, come le pagine di un diario visivo, seguono e testimoniano i suoi diversi viaggi e peregrinazioni nel mondo. Anche se il progetto ha delle connessioni evidenti con le opere di autori come John Berger, Chris Marker e W.G. Sebald, "Punto d'ombra" di Teju Cole è qualcosa di diverso. Un lavoro originale e coraggioso che combina la poetica fotografia di paesaggio di Teju Cole con la sua prosa, lirica, allusiva e impegnata. Con un'introduzione di Siri Hustvedt.

Punto d'ombra Details

TitlePunto d'ombra
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageItalian
ReleaseApr 28th, 2016
PublisherContrasto
ISBN8869656535
ISBN-139788869656538
Number of pages231 pages
Rating
GenreArt, Photography, Nonfiction, Writing, Essays, Travel

Punto d'ombra Review

  • Trish
    May 16, 2017
    Teju Cole’s art is exceptional at the same time it is accessible. In my experience, the confluence of these two things happens only rarely, which is how Cole has come to occupy an exalted place in my pantheon of artists. If I say his photography can stop us in our tracks, it says nothing of his writing, which always adds something to my understanding. Today I discovered his website has soundtracks which open doors. And there it is, his specialness: Cole’s observations enlarge our conversation.Th Teju Cole’s art is exceptional at the same time it is accessible. In my experience, the confluence of these two things happens only rarely, which is how Cole has come to occupy an exalted place in my pantheon of artists. If I say his photography can stop us in our tracks, it says nothing of his writing, which always adds something to my understanding. Today I discovered his website has soundtracks which open doors. And there it is, his specialness: Cole’s observations enlarge our conversation.This may be the most excellent travel book I have read in recent years, the result of years of near-constant travel by the author. Scrolling through the Table of Contents is a tease, each destination intriguing, irresistible. Each entry is accompanied by a photograph, or is it the other way around? “I want to make the kinds of pictures editors of the travel section will dislike or find unusable. I want to see the things the people who live there see, or at least what they would see after all the performance of tourism has been stripped away.” Yes, this is my favored way of travel, for “the shock of familiarity, the impossibility of exact repetition.” It is the reason most photographs of locales seemed unable to capture even a piece of my experience. But Cole manages it. In the entry for “Palm Beach,” his picture is of a construction site, a pile of substratum—in this case, sand—piled high before an elaborate pinkish villa. His written entry is one of his shortest, only three sentences, one of them the Latin phrase Et in Arcadia ego, washing the scene with knowledge of what we are viewing, and what is to come.Cole calls this work a lyric essay, a “singing line” connecting the places. There is some of that. What connects all these places for me are Cole’s eyes…and his teacherly quality of showing us what he is thinking. It is remarkable, and totally engrossing. “Human experience varies greatly in its externals, but on the emotional and psychological level, we have a great deal of similarity with one another.” Yes, this insight, so obvious written down, is something I have been struggling with for such a long time, going back and forth over the idea that we are the same, we are different. Cole tells us that this book stands alone, or can be seen as fourth in a quartet addressing his “concern with the limits of vision.” I want to sink into that thought, in the context of what he has given us, because outside the frame of a photograph, outside of our observation, outside of us, is everything else.My favorite among the essays, if we can call them such, filled as much with what Cole did not say as with what he did, is the piece called “Black River.” Cole evokes the open sea, Derek Walcott, crocodiles, and white egrets. A tropical coastal swamp filled with crocodiles also had white egrets decorating the bushy green of overhanging mangroves, the large white splashes almost equidistant from one another, the closest they can be for maximum happiness, I like to think, though it could also be minimum happiness, I guess. Any closer and there will be discord, like the rest of us live.The arrival in bookstores of a book by Teju Cole is an event. His pictures makes us look, and his words are like the egrets, spaced for maximum pleasure. Whether or not you read this as a series or alone, make sure you pick it up, just to gaze. You need have no agenda. His magic does not make much of itself. He takes us along for the ride. Bravo!
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  • Rebecca Foster
    May 19, 2017
    (3.75) Whether a short novel of Sebaldesque wanderings in the Big Apple (Open City), or a collection of essays on literature, art and travel (Known and Strange Things), Teju Cole’s works all share a dedication to seeing clearly. This book is composed of about 160 one- and two-page spreads in which images are matched with commentary. Each piece is headed with its location, with Lagos, Berlin, Brooklyn and various towns in Switzerland showing up frequently. The author’s philosophical approach elev (3.75) Whether a short novel of Sebaldesque wanderings in the Big Apple (Open City), or a collection of essays on literature, art and travel (Known and Strange Things), Teju Cole’s works all share a dedication to seeing clearly. This book is composed of about 160 one- and two-page spreads in which images are matched with commentary. Each piece is headed with its location, with Lagos, Berlin, Brooklyn and various towns in Switzerland showing up frequently. The author’s philosophical approach elevates a few slightly undistinguished photographs. It is, at times, difficult to spot the relevance of certain photographs that cannot stand alone without captions. Others, though, are striking enough to require no clarifying prose, with tricks of scale or tricks of the light, reflections, shadows and layers providing visual interest. This serves as a prime example of memory taking on visual permanence, which is precisely the aim of this hybrid text — no mere collection of tourist snaps, but a poetic reflection on the confines of vision and knowledge.See my full review on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website.
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  • Roger DeBlanck
    June 27, 2017
    Teju Cole has become for me an indispensable writer because the intelligence of his work enables me to gain a more compassionate understanding of the world. But, of course, Cole is much more than a craftsman of words and a sage of ideas. He is also a renowned photographer. His greatest gift, however, may be his ability to synthesize artistic mediums in order to deliver an even more profound view of humanity. Indeed, he achieves a graceful merging of his poetic prose with his thoughtful photograp Teju Cole has become for me an indispensable writer because the intelligence of his work enables me to gain a more compassionate understanding of the world. But, of course, Cole is much more than a craftsman of words and a sage of ideas. He is also a renowned photographer. His greatest gift, however, may be his ability to synthesize artistic mediums in order to deliver an even more profound view of humanity. Indeed, he achieves a graceful merging of his poetic prose with his thoughtful photographs in Blind Spot. This is a unique book in that it is a travelogue with memorable observations, but also a stunning collection of images resonant with the voices from both the past and present in the places he visits.Each of the 150 photographs in this captivating book is complimented by a text entry. These nuggets of prose are a remarkable blend of anecdotes, musings, histories, metaphors, analogies, revelations, meditations, philosophies, and politics. They add depth, immediacy, and context to the brilliance of each photograph, but sometimes they seem to stand solitary in the empathy and compassion they express, the same way the power of the photographs can generate emotions beyond words. This alliance of literary flashes and contemplative images has a page-turning quality. Journeying through Cole's visual and written reflections is both exciting and humbling.It is tempting to want to exalt every one of Cole's images and ideas. Instead, here is a streaming list of a few, among the many, of my reactions as I interacted with this book: • Death is a mere semblance of sleep, and we can wake forever as Christ did to show us the way to greater compassion in our reception of the world. • When drapes and folds move, they resemble God's visibility. Consider whether it is the cloth or Christ rising, for movement is eternal and ethereal.• Fragments of the past can be grasped from the "skin of the photograph" (12-13). • The past forever emerges on the present. Death informs the present life, for death resides under the surface of life. • The past can be fabricated on a given moment, or it can be made visible again in the reality of the moment. The past is and always should be with us.• Through maps and learning, everything can be understood as containing what came before it. • The world has so much movement and symmetry, so many echoes and agreements, so many codes and wounds. • Think of the overlap that exists among graves, baths, and beds. • A photograph can serve as a "fulfillment of prophecy" to bring what's seen into a larger canvas of seeing (58-59). • An alliance and reliance exists between dreaming and remembering. • During Christmas break at school, musical instruments are covered with sheets. "The silence roars like outer space" (74-75).• During heightened states of consciousness, our boundaries between dreams and reality become blurred due to "sudden rifts in the natural order of time" (96-97).• Sleep opens doors of seeing.• Berlin is a place of signs: "Evil ground because of what happened, holy ground because of the innocents it consumed" (106-107).• There are so many dualities and ways of seeing things during the day, and making photographs is a source of reminding us of what was seen.• The aim of Cole's work: "a unified project" (126-127).• In a restaurant, Cole sees a simulacra between a mural of a cityscape on the wall and the glasses and bottles on a table.• The movement of drapes is an opportunity to consider the energy that animates them.• While traveling in Lebanon to the Syrian border to see the ruins of Baalbek, Cole reflects on the impact that the ongoing war will have on these ruins.• Poets who have produced vital work are just as important in offering light as the vitality of the sun. And still, what is seen surpasses anything the camera can capture.• Cole often ponders over the people in his photographs. He considers a man in New York City using a public pay phone. Who still uses a pay phone?• The act of material construction can be associated with the hopes and dreams of something to come.• The liveliness of color is akin to sound. Photos that are replete with "muted but complicated colors" can reflect the diversity of an orchestra (232-233).• In Selma, Cole pays homage to the influence and immortality of Baldwin's work.• Coles tells the sorrowful story of a group of Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese refugees. There are 53 of them overloading a small fishing boat built for only 15, a boat he calls a "craft of crazy hope" (258-259).• What Cole loves about the "visible environment" he has visited around the globe: "the material evidence of human life, which goes on in spite of the world's enmity" (274-275).• Cole's marvels of description make for a euphoric hike to Glenner River near Pitasch, Switzerland.Cole says of his travels, "I want to see the things the people who live there see, or at least what they would see after the performance of tourism has been stripped away" (274). Perhaps, then, the best way to make a worthy assessment of Cole and the originality of his work is to associate his goals to those of other great minds. Toni Morrison has said she attempts in her novels to "make the ordinary extraordinary." Seamus Heaney has said that art relies on "getting started, keeping going, and getting started again." And Hermann Hesse has said that the greatest art is music because it is essentially the obliteration of language, or rather the highest level of language. Cole's Blind Spot captures the extraordinary within the ordinary day, his work constantly starting anew and meticulously keeping going, striving to attain a musicality with its lushness of words and images.-----My review of Cole's novel Open City: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...My review of Cole's fiction Every Day is for the Thief: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...My review of Cole's essays Known and Strange Things:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
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  • Jim Angstadt
    July 9, 2017
    Blind SpotTeju ColeThis work has a straight-forward pattern. One page has several paragraphs of commentary. On the facing page is a photo. Sometimes there is a common element between the commentary and the photo, but not always, at least for me.Nor is there a common theme from one commentary to the next. At least none I could detect.Page 52. Titled: Lugano"She said to me: Europe is getting worse. I still don't understand why you want to move to Switzerland.I said to her: I don't want to move to Blind SpotTeju ColeThis work has a straight-forward pattern. One page has several paragraphs of commentary. On the facing page is a photo. Sometimes there is a common element between the commentary and the photo, but not always, at least for me.Nor is there a common theme from one commentary to the next. At least none I could detect.Page 52. Titled: Lugano"She said to me: Europe is getting worse. I still don't understand why you want to move to Switzerland.I said to her: I don't want to move to Switzerland. Quite the contrary. I like to visit Switzerland. When I'm not there, I long for it, but what I long for is the feeling of being an outsider there and, soon after, the feeling of leaving again so I can continue to long for it."The sentiment expressed above is understandable. It may not be common. It may have an unknown motivation. I may not agree with it. But I can understand it, even with no help from the photo. Well, sorta understand it.Unfortunately, many of the other commentaries are not even remotely understandable to me. They seem to be abstract, too abstract. As a side note, I am still unsure if this should be called a graphic novel. Maybe not, since the photos often have no apparent bearing on the topic.Bailed. dnf.
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  • Ryan
    July 3, 2017
    Truly stunning and inspiring. Pale imitation as they are, I need to get back to recording words and images.
  • Serge
    July 16, 2017
    A catalog of facile photography ... the blind spot here is the utter contempt to propose anything directly to the reader/viewer.
  • Andrew Bertaina
    June 30, 2017
    This book is interesting, it pairs a photo on one side with a fragment on the other. The fragments are sometimes historical, sometimes personal, sometimes artistic, or an explanation of what made the image interesting. I'm glad this book is out in the world because it broadens the range of what counts as acceptable in the literary world. I love good photographs and good fragments. At times, fragments can seem like a more honest portrait of the world than when we approach a subject with strict na This book is interesting, it pairs a photo on one side with a fragment on the other. The fragments are sometimes historical, sometimes personal, sometimes artistic, or an explanation of what made the image interesting. I'm glad this book is out in the world because it broadens the range of what counts as acceptable in the literary world. I love good photographs and good fragments. At times, fragments can seem like a more honest portrait of the world than when we approach a subject with strict narrativity in mind. Anyhow, it's an interesting book, and I'd gladly put it on a coffee table somewhere because nested in those fragments is the possibility of an interesting conversation, which doesn't always happen when we just look at an image.
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  • umang
    July 21, 2017
    Many things to notice in this book and the perspective contained within. It has a clarity and dreaminess about it, and even the most quotidian photograph can become part of a rich story through the right eye. Some of the more literal essays gave a fascinating snapshot of a stranger's life, while the more abstract essays demand contemplation. I finished it feeling ambivalent about the pleasures and perils of choosing to take in that which we usually do not see. I'm not sure how someone so imagina Many things to notice in this book and the perspective contained within. It has a clarity and dreaminess about it, and even the most quotidian photograph can become part of a rich story through the right eye. Some of the more literal essays gave a fascinating snapshot of a stranger's life, while the more abstract essays demand contemplation. I finished it feeling ambivalent about the pleasures and perils of choosing to take in that which we usually do not see. I'm not sure how someone so imaginative as Cole travels to the extent he does.
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  • Maggie
    July 19, 2017
    A woman on the red line leaned over to tell me, "that is a beautiful book." "Yes," I said, pleased she'd noticed, pleased with the pleasure of savoring it, brief excursions to see and then to re-see, rich in perception, yet conscious of delimitation, "it is."
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  • Jared Levine
    July 1, 2017
    Teju sees the world through a lens that captures the minutia of locale in fully intriguing ways—the way he articulates prose around these photos is completely immaculate. What we get here is a prepossessing drool-fest of intellectually stimulating eye candy.
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  • Lea
    July 11, 2017
    Truly remarkable. It is a genre-bending masterpiece that everyone should experience.
  • Mei
    July 13, 2017
    I have met my photographer soul mate and he is Teju Cole.
  • Lindsey Shultz
    July 22, 2017
    His words are like reading water.
  • Cody
    June 29, 2017
    A beautiful catalog of "the material evidence of life, which goes on in spite of the world's enmity."
  • Cheryl
    July 12, 2017
    I loved the wandering soul behind this, the wandering words and thoughts and images that make a whole. Not wholly, of course, but in an abstract and solid contradiction I love to live in. The photos are the opposite of beauty, but they are real, and abstract, and real, and subjective. The wandering and the ordinary that unites us, the diversity and similarities are present in the words and photos and it is an extremely cool experience, not just a book. TivoliSpring, even in America, is Japanese. I loved the wandering soul behind this, the wandering words and thoughts and images that make a whole. Not wholly, of course, but in an abstract and solid contradiction I love to live in. The photos are the opposite of beauty, but they are real, and abstract, and real, and subjective. The wandering and the ordinary that unites us, the diversity and similarities are present in the words and photos and it is an extremely cool experience, not just a book. TivoliSpring, even in America, is Japanese. It is not only the leaves that grow. Shadows grow also. Everything grows, both what receives the light, and what is cast by it. There is more in the world, all of it proliferating like neural patterns. Almost all of it: it is also the most melancholy season, for, as Alkman says, there is nothing to eat. Resurrection is far too close to death, and the moment when the sleep begins to leave your eyes is the most fragile, the most porous, for at times in spring, even the emotional granaries are depleted. I rememberMuottas MuraglNevertheless, in one enciphering corner of my mind I believe still that every line in every poem is the orphaned caption of a lost photograph. By a related logic, each photograph sits in the antechamber of speech. Undissolved fragments of the past can be seen through the skin of the photograph. The tectonic plates are still busy in their rockwork, and there is a faint memory of burning ash. The difference between peace and mayhem is velocity.BeirutPoets die. They must. But the poems, if vital, give a light that each future age refracts in its particular lens. No, not “give a light”: they “light inhere”: contain in themselves a light from which they cannot be separated. Like the sun, they illuminate and yet remain.BrooklynYour progress is not a line, direct or winding, from one point to another, but a flickering series of scenes. A street is not only its tarred surface, the buildings alongside it, the cars fast or slow, the people around you. It is also the way those things relate to one another, the way they combine and recombine. As some elements slip out of view, new ones become visible: you are moving, the cars are moving, other people are moving, even the sun is moving, slowly, and in the middle of this multidimensional movement you must decide when to press the shutter, decide which of these rapidly refreshing instants is more interesting than the others around it. A second before, it has not yet arrived. A second later, it is irretrievably gone.ZürichIf you live to eighty, inshallah, that comes to 200 million steps over the course of your life, a hundred thousand miles. You don’t consider yourself a great walker, but you will have circumnavigated the globe on foot four times over. Downstairs to get the mail. Basement for laundry. Living room to bedroom. Up in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Walking through the darkened house, you suddenly pause.RomeMy heart, there is so much that can be neither spoken about nor left unspoken. After a number of modulations, the song returns to home key.TivoliLook down. Geology defeats geometry. A walk in town in spring, when everything is a mess, and different states of matter are in flux, is a walk through probability and chance. Euclid cannot help us here. The same logic governing continents, islands, and bays governs the puddle with its gravel, ice, sand, mud, and melting snow. All are in that family of shapes and complex hierarchical rules that Mandelbrot called “fractals.” And what sees is as what it sees: the vascular tree of the retina is fractal (the last scan of my left retina showed this complex web, with what resembled a number of small explosions).Postscript: A Map of the World...i am intrigued by the continuity of places, by the singing line that connects them all. This singing line I have responded to in this book in the form of a lyric essay that combines photography and text. Human experience varies greatly in its externals, but on the emotional and psychological level, we have a great deal of similarity with one another. Whether I was in the small town of Vals in Switzerland or in a high building overlooking the dwellings of millions of people in São Paulo, my constant thought has been the same: how to keep the line going. This project came about when I began to match words to these interconnected images.
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  • Jane
    August 1, 2017
    What an interesting book. Love the overlapping genres and the way one genre speaks to another. While I suppose the meditations that riff off, rather than comment on the photographs, aren't technically prose poems...they often have that provocative, dreamlike surprise of poetry. The book will change how I look at and think about photography forever. I'm on a Teju Cole reading/listening binge, and it is fascinating.
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  • Brownguy
    August 5, 2017
    Great photographs, the text added a lot to some pictures and I didn't get why it was there for others.
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