The Lost Planet


by Beba Stoppani

When our gaze finally opens up again to boundless stellar space, the thrill of the encounter suddenly returns: our beloved planet rotates in the infinite space close to us. We have vivid memories of its beauty and its bountiful, wonderfully complex life, as well as recollections of its history, its bonds and the disruptive conflicts of a world with innumerable interconnections now reduced to silence….
The fourth and last of a series of works featuring the Earth and issues relating to ecology, The Lost Planet is the final part of a project that, starting from the massive exploitation of its resources (TerraMadre / Mother Earth), the desire to raise public awareness of global warming (0 gradi a 5000 metri / 0° at 5,000 metres) and, on a more positive note, the safeguarding of Iceland’s ecosystem (Sogno di una notte… /Dream of a Night…), concludes by focusing on the great uncertainties of the future.

by Gigliola Foschi

The beauty and wonders of the world do not prevent us from feeling sorrow for our distressed ‘lost planet’, now seeking to meet the challenge of global warming. After her recent works devoted to the problem of the melting of glaciers (0 gradi a 5000 metri / 0° at 5,000 metres) and the safeguarding of Iceland’s ecosystem (Sogno di una notte… /Dream of a Night…), Beba Stoppani is now presenting a new series of pictures in which she allows herself to marvel when confronted by the beauties of nature, but also to focus, with great compassion, on its suffering. This photographer’s works are not intended to be either illustrative or documentary: each picture is a caress, an act of love, a sign of proximity and nearness. Her photographs of the sands of Mexico bring us close to the very substance of the land. By immersing ourselves in bewilderment among these grains of sand — strangely similar to the minute calligraphic and pictorial strokes in Mark Tobey’s paintings — we feel we have been invited to dream of gentle enchanted landscapes, or, on the other hand, to imagine the desolate landscapes of Mars, as if the Earth were destined to become a dead, deserted planet. As the art historian Rolando Bellini wrote, these ‘imaginal’ works offer us a ‘visual representation that becomes vibrant and, at the same time, motionless, material and immaterial, and real and unreal, and that ends up by congealing in a suspension obtained through the medium of photography.’ Stoppani’s work replaces the objectifying demonstration with metaphor, disorientation and allusion. She asks us to reawaken our clouded fantasies, seeking reciprocity and subtle agreements. Thus the pictures charged with piety in the Lost Planet series show an imposing sphere bound by rusty shackles that clasp it rather in the way the Internet and the huge tubes of pipelines envelop our terrestrial globe. These works remind us of the power of the Earth and the might of its bountiful life, but, at the same time they make us aware, with an almost imperceptible shudder, of the way it is being progressively reduced to silence.

Next project

The Lost Planet II