On My Mind

Online review

On My Mind… Alexandra Lethbridge

Photography can often mislead us, in a constant and unconscious game, because of its nature inbetween – or maybe in conflict with – truth and fiction. The same happens with the everyday reality we see and try to interpret: sometimes we cannot understand it, because it is often incomprehensible.

Alexandra Lethbridge loves playing with the ambiguity and mystery of reality and, far from any abstraction, she catches clues and fragments from it. Blending, in a flowing and brilliant narration, archival photographs, discovered imagery, her own constructed scenes; always with the aim of creating a “magic truth”, the existence of which we have to doubt.

From the series Other Ways of Knowing, 2016 © Alexandra Lethbridge

Other Ways of Knowing is “an exploration into the theatrical illusion of magic and misdirection in comparison to ideas of criminal hoax, deceit and trickery”. It questions the meaning of “knowledge” and visual perception. Producing distress in the viewer, because they can’t get the sense of what they’re seeing and, trying to understand it, turn into a victim.

“Seeing” means attributing relevance to what is in front of our eyes. But when the cognitive process is constantly called into question, estrangement is the resulting effect. This is exactly the intention of the author: creating a moment of hesitation, in which nobody can be sure of what seeing exactly is. Moreover, the sense of frustration increases because of the inclusion of daily-life objects and reassuring vernacular images in the work, and for this reason, the viewer believes they should understand.

From the series Other Ways of Knowing, 2016 © Alexandra Lethbridge

The author, enjoying these certainties, tells stories that arrive far away in an unknown context. A magic realism among intriguing details and symbols which combine without a clear reason.

However, the essence of art is inexplicable. Surely it is not based on logic and scientific knowledge, rather than an intuitive and perceptive one.

A puzzle that, unconsciously, unveils much more than a linear tale.

About Arianna Catania

Arianna Catania is a photo editor, journalist and independent curator. After a degree in Political Science, she started working as a photographer. Since 2007, she has worked in the publishing industry, as photo editor for different magazines and newspapers. Today she writes for Huffington Post Italy on art and photography and collaborates with several other magazines. She is creator and Artistic Director of Gibellina PhotoRoad- International Open Air Photography Festival, where photography is presented in the public space, in site-specific installations. She is also curator of several projects and exhibitions, including Emerging Talents, presented- since 2014- during Fotografia- festival of Rome. Photography is her job, her free time, her passion.

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