«For me visiting a building is like watching a film, roaming through the corridors is choreographed by an architect who decides where you turn a corner, who predetermines the window through which you can lose yourself in a view. Every building has a beginning, in the same way every story, every film has to begin somewhere».
The story of Petra Noordkamp begins with a casual encounter: an afternoon walk with a man, Emilio, one of her past lovers. But the story also begins with the slow observation of a white sphere, its sinuous lines, its perfect round form that that recalls the womb of a woman.
That sphere is the Chiesa Madre of Gibellina. The author simply stumbled upon it, unaware that it had been designed by Ludovico Quaroni, Emilio’s father.
Years later Noordkamp discovered that Emilio had killed his mother. And suddenly that unexplainable attraction is clarified: universe, creation, love and death are intertwined in a diary that is visual, poetic, whispered, an exploration of the profound links between metaphysical space and a loving relationship’s alchemy.
The Chiesa “Madre” thus becomes primal symbol of creation and death.
And the story, wrapped in silence, advances by way of a woman’s narrating voice, and the imperceptible movements of a camera that moves surreptitiously through the fragile contacts between remoteness and space, memory and oblivion, melancholy and wonder.
Influenced by the cinematographic style of Antonioni, the Dutch artist draws near to the volumes of the church, which in turn become sources of obsession and tenderness simultaneously.
Petra Noordkamp (Losser, 1967) lives and works in Amsterdam. She studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her work has been published in many magazines and newspapers like Club Donny, San Rocco Magazine, The Purple Journal, Avenue, Volkskrant Magazine and NRC Handelsblad and she took part in numerous exhibitions. In 2012 she made her first short film La Madre, il figlio e l’architetto. This film was shown in an exhibition of her work in the photo museum Foam in Amsterdam and was selected for various Dutch and international film festivals and exhibitions. It won the first prize for best International short film – documentary at Arquiteturas, the film and architecture festival in Lisbon. In the fall of 2013 she was an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome. In 2014 she was commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York to make a short film about Il Grande Cretto di Gibellina, a land art work by the Italian artist Alberto Burri, which was screened in NY during the retrospective of Burri in the Guggenheim in the autumn of 2015. In 2016 La Madre, il figlio e l’architetto has been projected in Centre Pompidou and Maxxi, Roma. It is presented during Gibellina PhotoRoad, for the first time, in the city of Gibellina.