Living with Nepalese Buddhist Lamas
VERNISSAGE 16 | 3 | 2023 6 PM
Space Žitná 7, Prague 1
living with Buddhist Lamas
by Massimo Briani
When I decided to spend a month in 2023 visiting Buddhist monasteries in Nepal to live with monks (Lamas) I knew there would be a rich abundance of visual suggestions: colorful clothing, vibrant decorations and precisely choreographed rituals. But the challenge of capturing the essence of spiritual experience became apparent to me not obvious at all. I spent few hours per day with small groups of Lamas for two or three hours while they were praying, reciting mudras and mantras, playing their typical long horn, making many kinds of exercises and meditating of course. While sacred rites are visually lush and apparently always the same and repetitive, instead the spiritual experience is deep, hidden and always different. So, it is difficult to capture with the camera something that is not visible!
As I was there learning more about Buddhist teachings my journey spanned many Buddhist monasteries all over Nepal up to the Himalayan mountains. Along the way I discovered that Buddhism and photography have so much in common, including observation, compassion and being fully present in the moment. The compassion face to the suffering and the sense of sharing the human condition were important in both photography and Buddhism.
Massimo Briani currently live and work in Prague (Czech Republic) where he is in charge of continuing research through the development of Fine-Art Photography projects. His photography experience started from the fundamental contribution of François Soulages, author of the new edition of “Esthétique de la Photographie”. He is following a theoretical approach to photography considering paradigmatic “Research” and “Project” as fundamental activities that must always precede shooting. The act of shooting as “instantaneity” is confronted with a temporal ambiguity between the “permanence” of the picture and the “impermanence” of the life. We encounter daily a “liquefaction” (see also: Liquid Modernity by Z. Bauman) in space-time “fractals” (see also “The fury of Images” by Foncuberta), which the photograph itself cannot contain it. It cannot be bound to an immobile cut in time, because the ontological meaning of the photographic image “slips”. It shuns the past, dated and past anchors linked in particular to Barthes’ thought that require a re-definition other than the “mortal perception” of “La Chambre Claire”. Massimo undertakes to redefine them through a critical study, between deconstruction and restructuring. We can find in his photography a new formalisms capable of pushing photography beyond the boundaries of the moment. He therefore composed “photographic journeys” with a poetic of “drift”, “lack” and “uncertainty” where the photographs thus constituted a “deficient” event. We can find in his circumstances in which it is the “tension” that determines them and no longer the mere “constituency of composition”. The instance thus manages to become a yearning for a profound search for meanings, always renewed.
Photographic projects/portfolios and reportage around the world are published on:
Website – https://www.aesthethicalphotography.com
Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/aesthethicalphotography/
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