‘One of us’ is an exclamation. The same words the Freaks sang in the 1930s cult movie that challenged the concept of normality. In a scene of the film it’s the monsters who accept a “normal” person as one of theirs, in a world turned upside down - in which not only are the physical idiosyncrasies of the circus characters normal, but they hide a good nature that seems to contradict their monstrous aspect.
In this photographic project, Giacomo Favilla, a photographer and video maker who flits between art and fashion with order and energy, meets the art of the designer Francesca Lombardi. Together they invite mysterious figures to pose for them, seated solo on an antique chair.
These individuals have human semblances, however, their features are hidden by an origami masks transforming their faces by replacing their features with the snouts of animal. Absorbed in the black and white atmosphere they appear to tell us that there’s no difference between man and animal, they are like us, in a mythology that blends our world with theirs and stimulates our thinking, by declaring that we’re on the same level.
The precise study of light defines the features of the masks created by Francesca Lombardi, underlining the importance of shadows in a context of oriental sensitivity. Starting from the first snout of a puma (created according to the scheme of Roman Diaz, a veterinary who has dedicated several books to this Japanese art) other animal profiles are developed: a crocodile, a cat, an antelope, a rabbit… they all live in the same ethereal space.
Origami mask: Francesca Lombardi.
Puma Origami mask folded by Francesca Lombardi, designed by Roman Diaz.
Photographs: Giacomo Favilla.