The term “Biophilia” was first used by Erich Fromm to describe the psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive, and literally means love for life or living systems. The Biophilia Hypothesis was a step beyond; Edward O. Wilson introduced it in 1984, suggesting an instinctive, subconscious bond between human beings and other living systems. Wilson concludes that the deep relationship between humans and nature is rooted in our biology. Human preferences towards natural things, while refined through experience and culture, are hypothetically the product of biological evolution. In other words, our natural love for life helps sustain life itself.
The humankind is globally facing an historical era of radical changes, a major shift from the Modern to the Post Modern Age, in which most social structures have failed or are on the verge to collapse, opening the way to new models. We’re living an environmental crisis, a financial crisis but mostly a crisis of the human spirit. The disorientation resulting from this much needed disorder leads us all to rethink and possibly to reshape our lives, in different ways. Nature turns out to be – if not the answer – at least the asylum in which more and more people look for new models of living.
The project BIOPHILIA explores the instinctive drive behind the growing trend of reconnection with the natural, based on direct experience and through a creative process that reflects the principles of the exploration — where observation turns into contemplation and the unexpected plays a revealing role. The resulting Series are organized into a three chapters fictional tale shaped around a non-linear narrative.
|Chapter I – The Vision||Chapter II – The Dream|
Chapter III – The Encounter
Placebo is a journey through darkness, a travelogue of Vernaschi’s immersion into a sensual and, at times almost violent search for the remedy to dispel a wordless psychological upheaval. Through a series of dreamlike and real excursions he illustrates this transformation from confusion to clarity.
Boundaries crumble as he pushes himself, using photography as a divining rod to direct him to the centre of his subconscious where silence and isolation are balanced against frenetic fury. The self-indulgence of existential questioning is embedded deep within the work, light trails through the images, creating a surrealistic stage on which his subjects shimmer and glow.
Each narrative evokes an earthy sense of animal instinct, which also colors sexual scenes that make up an integral part of the journey. There is little romance to be found in the sexual narrative, no “happily ever after” fairy dust falling on these images, each vignette is an immediate raw exploration that begins and ends with sheer desire.
Placebo marks a shift in how Vernaschi photographs and through this “photo-therapy” he has emerged with a different kind of document, one that investigates the foundations of what makes us human and reveals the fine line which separates that human-ness from primal nature.
Peggy Sue Amison
The BIOPHILIA Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit organization based in Argentina that was started in 2014 by Marco Vernaschi. BIOPHILIA contributes in shaping a sustainable model of rural development through a synergetic approach and a holistic vision, to empower small-scale farmers with the mission to reinforce local economies and fostering a responsible management of the natural resources.