Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

The Sexuality of Exegesis – Work in progress with a Professor in Roman Law

Feb 15, 2015 - Benedetta Panisson

I adore immense researches on tiny things, hypertechnical languages that sound like an unknown music, marvelous discoveries that seem useless. It's when in the life of a man the most important thing is to observe for hours and hours a medusa behaving in an unforeseen way, to postdate of some weeks a 2300 years old statue, to change the value of a current law re-interpreting the etymology of a single latin word. A fascinating (and little grumpy) bohemien or a monk, a passionate and maniac researcher, completely absorbed in his world, in his words, obsessions, calculations, stupors, mistakes and satisfactions. One step from resulting, in his research, completely boring or incredibly genius. All this gives me the desire to work as a visual artist next to an academician and his own parallel world. After years I finally found my academician to study, and she looks perfectly in harmony with the experiment, so I'm glad to introduce to you Barbara Biscotti, Professor in Roman Law, Law Historian, a passion for underwater archeology, a career as jurist and lawyer, a list of international publications about the legal system of ancient Rome. For me, a new world to admire. Thanks to Barbara, this is a pleasure. Some notes about a work in progress:

  • It is important for my artistic method that all her world of research is, for me, incomprehensible, unspeakable, seductive. As sensuality: incomprehensible, unspeakable, seductive.
  • A chance to entirely mould a photographic project not only on her study, but also on her technical approach to a study, on her inner tension while she has to canalize an intuition in a strict and rational academic system.
  • A way to let emerge an artistic shape from an academic research.
  • Create a balance or an unbalance intersecting a photographic project with an almost entirely based-on-text study.
  • Observing an academic observation.
  • Listening to a technical language that I don't know.
  • Trying to understand how scholars give name to things.
  • Trying to understand how scholars create territories of significations.
Here's some draft pictures (things, territories, layers, coincidences, directions) about our project, backstage-insights (everything is still in progress) and some questions to Barbara.
  • B.P.: In alphabetical order, please Barbara, could you share with me 10 of the most important words of your study?
  • B.B.: Classical, curiosity, deduction, exegesis, history, humanity, imagination, logic, right, scientific accuracy.
  • B.P.: If ancient romans had a photographic camera, what would they have taken pictures of, for sure?
  • B.B.: Normal/poor ones: architectures, executions. Rich people: military parades, banquets and laden tables, circus’ games
  • B.P.: Together with you, i would like this project to become a book, something between your academic research and my photography. For sure something that is a little short circuit. What would you like to have in your hand, at the end of this project together?
  • B.B.: The second dream of each historian: a sort of copy of Alice in Wonderland in which I am Alice and I fall down in a tunnel, back to Antiquityland. (The first one is a time machine!)