The photo series “Secret Presence” by Riccardo Pelati analyses the things we are unable to identify. Regardless if it is a figure or a state of mind, if it cannot be placed in a certain time or space, it is secret.
Throughout the series, Riccardo Pelati is the copy of this secret presence. While it is initially observed as a being that torments him, it eventually becomes his escape route.
Riccardo is able to communicate themes of anxiety and panic attacks that he has experienced. These subjects help the public interact with the photographs on a personal level.
The photo series is made up of 8 images, each observing a different theme. The idea of self-discovery and growth is a dominant concept throughout.
The first image of the series observes the theme ‘Mutatis’. Accounting for the idea of metamorphosis, the nine snapshots represent the development from a quiet state of mind, to one that is altered and hostile.
A state of self-segregation found in Riccardo’s negative thoughts begins the story. The theme of ‘Imprisoned’ notices the four rough walls that he has built around himself. With the possibility of mapping out an escape route, he has already constructed a strong relationship with confidence.
I was trying to breathe
The third stage of the photo series, observes the place where Riccardo so often went when he was not well. Having gone there to think, write, and observe the planes one thought always stuck in his mind — “When will I also be able to take flight and leave all this behind?”.
Everywhere it was cramped
In moments where Riccardo was feeling uncomfortable no matter where he was, everywhere felt cramped. With a blurred vision, he felt that he was uncomfortable with others. The mysterious image above reflects his state of mind — not understanding who is friendly and who is hostile.
Broken glass in the soul
The man represented in the photo above is seen to be falling from an unknown void. This image is a metaphor that projects Riccardo’s feelings when he was disappointed or rejected, regardless of the bond he had to those people.
When looking at the image, Riccardo is able to identify when the constant fear of falling and the concern of not being able to get back up.
The sixth stage of the photo series “Secret Presence” explores the theme ‘Submissive’. Reflecting on his biggest addiction, smoking, the matches symbolize the object that is closely related to cigarettes.
The minimalistic images also demonstrated the person who is consuming it until they disappear.
Impetus of the soul
This photograph is a reflection of Riccardo’s intimate state of mind. Consisting of a negative and burning aura that is feeding off his fears and insecurities.
Prey to myself
In the final stage of the photo series, Riccardo captured a man that he wanted to reflect on himself. After finally realizing that he was running away from something unknown, Riccardo has acknowledged that he is only fleeing from himself.
The only person that is able to break down the barriers and walls that he has built is himself.
Riccardo Pelati is a photographer currently living and working in Bergamo, Italy. He is able to understand his true feelings through his camera and computer, and the moments that he is capturing.