A skier launches into flight from the trampoline and Stefano Graziani stops time, and holds it and holds it, until the soft landing at the bottom of the piste. The ecstasy of the jump translates into a sequence of instants, the fractions of a gesture. We see the skier in the air and we watch him glide without moving, immobile and far from his shadow every time. The solitude of flight evokes the words from the final scene of The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner, the 1974 documentary directed by Werner Herzog and inspired by the humane and sporting achievements of Swiss Walter Steiner: “No sun, no culture; I, naked on a high rock. No storm, no snow, no banks, no money. No time and no breath. Then, finally, I would not be afraid any more.” Focusing on the most magical moment of flying with skis, Stefano Graziani is back to discussing photography and the present as isolated from all the rest. An infinite time that only exists in the “dry nature” of photographic language, able to break any trajectory and transform any gesture into a sign.
Alessandro Dandini de Sylva