Laurent Fiorentino
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Camera Apocrifa 

    Facing the virile stereotype, the man feels a sense of powerlessness. It is impossible to satisfy the virilist obligation without denying one's own individuality. As men we do not born virile; we must achieve and constantly demonstrate that we are strong, indestructible, tough, aggressive, dominant and above all penetrating. The phallic obligation is omnipresent. The phallus is the emblem of virility, but at the same time the source of the "great shame" of castration.

    From a homoerotic point of view, another ambiguity is added to the phallic icon: attraction and desire. Thus, between desire and prohibition, obligation and identity the phallus is an infinite struggle.

    This dynamic of attraction and repulsion is at the centre of the ritualistic form of Camera Apocrifa. Anodyne sacrifices, the search for desire, the creation of apocryphal ex-votos structure these rituals which take place in a room which, like photography, is the alcove, the temple and the prison of my sexuality. Growing up near Naples, it has always been difficult to safely assume a non-standardised identity. So, from the beginning, photography was a safe space where it was possible to materialise a denied identity, a different concept of masculinity. Like a liturgy, for me photography is the ritual of incarnation, the shaping of an individuality that has been repressed until now. My body is the tool of this process of reclaiming. The self-portrait is a statement, a statement of position, a research. Imbued with religious references Camera Apocrifa is a reappropriation of a tradition that has excluded me, I give shape, therefore, to my own religion, my canon and my iconography.

    But in the solitude of this incarnation, the rituals are twisted towards narcissistic consumption. As a creator of images of desire, I am the only spectator allowed in this secret space. Everything bends under this scopic impulse giving rise to an obsessive search. The exploration of a form that attracts me but at the same time destroys me. But thanks to this deconstruction, a new individual statement of identity and masculinity can be made.