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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Somewhere on Earth

Somewhere on Earth

Andrea Rocca composes music for films and dance theatre - and he photographs moments of inscrutable beauty.

On his Instagram account, Andrea Rocca calls himself "Mechanical Eyelid", and he often likes to use "Somewhere on Earth" as a place marker for his pictures. It sounds like science fiction and a certain lack of emotion, almost as if an automated machine is scanning the world. Click, click, click, it takes its pictures, and then sometimes an old man walks right in front of its lens, or a young woman stands at a junction because of a red light at the moment the picture is taken. But of course it's not like that. Andrea Rocca is not a machine, and if you asked his friends, they would certainly describe him as friendly and courteous. However, there is something dark about his photographs, as if he were searching for the dark side of life. As if he wanted to penetrate the hidden. And then he confesses that when he looks at and selects his works, he always hopes to discover something that he has not noticed on the spot. As if he could uncover a secret in this mysterious atmosphere that he traces. But in the end, even he is unable to pull the mask off the world's face, which is why the mouth-nose protection of some passers-by in his pictures takes on an almost symbolic meaning.

Andrea Rocca is from Rome, where he worked as a photographer for an advertising agency before moving to London thirty years ago to study music. He still lives in London today and has made music his profession, composing soundtracks for art house films and pieces for modern dance theatre. But at some point, he says, an impulse to take photographs again came to him, as if from the subconscious, and since then he has regularly gone out in search of pictures in his neighbourhood in the Brixton district. What he looks for, he says, using an Italian word, are moments of beauty that can be described as "imperscrutabile", i.e. inscrutable. The pictures therefore have nothing to do with London. Rather, they are scenes from a ghost film. And if you look very closely, you can sometimes hear a soft melody in the background.

13 January 2022

By Freddy Langer

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