“The observation of shadows in any place in my mind is pivotal in this book. However, the way such shadows emerge with the light is even more important, permeating them and allowing them to be visible” explains the author. It is an illustrated book about shadows and about their relationships with and dependence from light- the former cannot exist without the latter. Silhouettes are blurred, the reader/observer has to use his/her own imagination to complete and define the images, suspended between dream and magic, in a cross-reference of shadows that do not exist without the light casting them.
The contact with a substance – the chalcographic ink – that Valerio uses with the monotype technique, gave him the idea of this book. Such a technique is characterized by a continuous creative process: ink is spread on the plate and the print is produced, then the same plate is used again and again to create unique images and new atmospheres, isolated in their uniqueness. Images are created by spreading or removing ink, in a continuous alternation between black and white characters.
The title is made up of two Latin words and refers to the relation of the author with such a dense substance that produces multifarious feelings corresponding to different states of mind. Images are anchored in a firm symbology, as various elements –water, wind and the Eliottian Waste Land – are repeated in the monotypes. Here the waste land is also the terre gaste of the chanson de geste, i.e. a devastated, barren territory where warriors are looking for their Holy Grail or knights errant, armed with lances, are wandering through parched fields to prove their value, in a sort of pas d’armes. This is the way atmospheres are produced, mirroring anguishes and anxieties of our age, looking for solutions that appear to be unavailable.