by Gigliola Foschi

“…Está en la luna / el alma de la tierra…”
Antonio Machado


The earth needs to be loved, recounted, listened to and respected in order to remind us that it nourishes us. ‘The generous earth opens up to the hands of man the creator, who travels over it, leaves his mark on it, sows and despoils without a pause, finding there the final embrace’, is how Beba Stoppani puts it. And here is the earth left to fallow before sowing. The earth colour of the earth. The concrete, naked earth seen from close by, then even closer, until it is lost in the depths. One’s gaze explores it with affection in order to listen to its underground voice; thus, it accompanies us in a collapse that, from clarity, sinks into indistinctness, as if were already inside us. According to Genesis, ‘God created the heavens and the earth’, because the earth, in its turn, cannot exist without the heavens, or without the sun that heats it, or without the moon that determines its rhythms. Thus the gaze, after being directed towards the earth, is raised towards the sky where the moon appears as a companion — one that is even multiplied — so that it ministers to us with its myriad bright presences. At times, these grow until the entire silvery disk is visible; at other times, they are reduced to persistent sparkling spots. In Stoppani’s photographs, the moon is seen in relation to the sunlight bathing Mother Earth. These pictures seem to be telling us that the secret allowing the earth to maintain its warm and fertile breath is hidden in its tender, constant relationship with the moon.

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