The Flower Within results from a challenging personal process, where experience of the world has irrevocably altered from the familiar. It is an attempt to reconstruct memories perceived in a totally unique and intimate way.
In 2016 Filippo Zambon was diagnosed with a rare chronic disease called Mxxxxxxxxx Gxxxxx. It causes seeing problems, like double vision, where objects duplicate, and landscapes become unrecognisable as they distort or mirror. The symptoms affect the vision so that people’s faces are also transformed, reminding Zambon of Francis Bacon’s portraits.
The exhibition is set to create a conceptual connection with the experience of Diplopia, a term used for seeing double, as the images mirror each other in the gallery space. The exhibition showcases an abundant number of photos and collages in colour as well as in black and white. The photographs communicate and construct, both visually and conceptually. It is an invisible narrative that viewers are encouraged to unfold and decipher through their personal subjectivities.
The Flower Within is a personal documentation of a human condition–seen through the filter of the condition itself. It also tells about a state of anxiety and fear triggered by the disease, the sense of helplessness and the realisation that changes in life are sometimes uncontrollable and cannot be reversed. The result is an utterly subjective, intimate study of the fragility of human nature. What ensues is a diary of a compromised, sickened, visual experience, but in some ways proof of strength and stubbornness—a reaction against adversities and the unknown.
For the first time, Zambon finds himself working on a theme that looks at himself instead of others—describing an authentic personal experience and struggling to keep narrating stories with a medium that little by little loses its applicability in everyday life. Here he is, as the fundamental subject of his own human and photographic research.
Filippo Zambon (b. 1981) is a photographer based in Helsinki. He graduated from the University of the Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, in 2014 and works on long-term projects. His artistic research primarily focuses on developing a unique language to narrate stories with different social relevances and thematics. Over the years, his work has frequently changed shape in both form and content. Additonally, Zambon has tried to develop more intimate methods to connect with the audience without employing didactic or over-imposing narratives.
The exhibition has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and Arts Promotion Center Finland (Taike).
The Flower Within
2 –25 September 2022
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
More about the project The Flower Within:
Filippo Zambon homepage
Image: Filippo Zambon, The Flower Within, 2019