The Natural Elements
The concept of "Archetypes " is key to interpreting the foundations of Lorenzo's photographic exploration. Ancient philosophies identified four main archetypical elements: Air, Earth, Water and Fire were proposed by Empedocles (5th century BC) in the context of searching for an arche ("first principle"). These principles were the essence of the real world. The whole of reality was explained through the ability of these primordial elements to recombine with each other. A fifth element, Aether, called also quintessence, was added later by Aristotle, providing a medium through which light could travel in a vacuum.
The interpretation of Aether lasted for centuries: in the medieval science, Aether (/ˈiːθər/) was described as the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere. The concept of Aether was used in theories to explain several natural phenomena, such as the traveling of light and gravity. In the late 19th century, physicists postulated that aether permeated all throughout space. Undoubtedly, and for centuries, the limitation of reducing all natural phenomena to 4 primordial "archai" was evident.
Such need of introducing an additional fifth element inspires Lorenzo's photographic research: Natural Phenomena seems to transcend the limitation to simply 4 archetypes. Lorenzo is inspired by those natural phenomena where these primary elements recombine themselves, originating “Naturescapes” through dynamic processes.
Processes, Transitions and Changes of State
Natural Elements recombine dynamically and incessantly. While the 4 primary elements are recombining, they originate different natural and spatial dimensions. Lorenzo's work aims to investigate this ethereal essence of the Natural Environment, being fascinated by how haze, fog, mist, clouds, rain, water, snow, ice, frost, wind, light, fire, smoke, dust, create depth and articulate Naturespaces.
The less solid the elements, the more transient their state and interaction. Volcanic Naturescapes and mighty rock formations seem to be dominant subjects for their ability to show, by contrast, the dynamism of natural processes with the more transient elements. This ever-changing quality represents for Lorenzo the beauty of Nature. Lorenzo is fascinated by natural processes which are somehow unaltered by the human presence, as if they pertain to a "superhuman scale". How these elements articulate natural spatialities and influence our emotional perception of the natural environment are the centre of Lorenzo’s exploration.
"Documenting the Earth as a living organism and immortalizing the incessant atmospheric processes that are the essence of life"
Human Scale & Natural Dimension
Lorenzo loves to explore vast and dimensionless Naturescapes. In these primordial untamed environments the human scale bares no significance.
In such places we feel limited and we acknowledge that we, as humans, are not the centre of the Natural World. Until recently, the human race has not been able to influence natural "superhuman" phenomena.
The massive unprecedented anthropogenic interventions, which have taken place since the industrial revolution, are posing a new threat to our vast though very finite Planet Earth.
Is the human race now able to influence natural phenomena on a scale that was previously unimaginable?
The camera records light and the absence of light, darkness. There is no light without darkness. Humans tend to feel uncomfortable in the dark, as the perception of the natural surroundings is somehow limited and the chance to identify any external threat is diminished.
Then lights break through the darkness...and, whatever surrounds us, becomes once again visible...
Lorenzo is inspired by this magical attribute of Light. The spiritual and enlightening dimension of Light is at the root of Lorenzo's photographic research.
Beyond the primordial Archetypical Elements, there is one principle which animates the world we inhabit: Life. Life and the restless innate drive to perpetuate Life. There is no consensus yet amongst the scientific or the religious community on how to unequivocally define unequivocally life: this is perhaps because, as humans, we fail to fully comprehend the origin of Life.
The ability for growth, reproduction, to exhibit functional activity and continual change preceding death seem to be the main features which distinguish living organisms from the inanimate world.
In the 70s Lovelock proposed a fascinating model of the Planet as a self-regulating organism - Gaia. The Oxford English Dictionary defines Gaia as “the global ecosystem, understood to function in the manner of a vast self-regulating organism, in the context of which all living things collectively define and maintain the conditions conducive to life on Earth”.
This concept of the Planet as a living global ecosystem expresses the level of interconnectedness of the natural world and of all the species who inhabit it.