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Dead In Turkestan, 2004
Extract from: "Field of Depth: Landscape as metaphor in emerging photography" By Carlos Motta, Exhibition Curator

Field of Depth: Landscape as Metaphor in Emerging Photography, features the work of 14 international emerging photographers who approach the "landscape" as a place for social commentary and debate. The photographs in the exhibition range from documentary to staged, from digitally constructed to microscopically recorded and from travel photography to carefully constructed scenes. All of the works rely on formal strategies, method of presentation and the use of technology to convey a common preoccupation with the role of photography as a method of representation as well as a metaphorical connection to the world of ideas.
Giada Ripa presents the audience of her photographs with intimate encounters between a traveling woman and the 'distant' sites that she visits. In a photograph, the desert in its vastness and natural harshness is the environment in which this woman stands, (always) giving her back to the camera. Clearly out of place' the character reenacts experiences reminiscent of Albert Camus' adulterous Woman, whose protagonist experiences 'a mystical union of the sky and stars' before returning home from the desert with a new awareness. Camus protagonist has been 'unfaithful' while contemplating the beauty of the landscape; she has asserted her individuality and freedom. Ripa suggests in her photographs that her character might be in a similar search.
In Dead in Turkestan, 2004 Ripa refers to tales of historical events such as the "theory of the Great Game" and interweaves them with personal interpretations. Two empires, Great Britain and the Russian Empire, were fighting for this territory of Central Asia, still unknown and untold to many, mainly because of its terrifying surrounding and monstrous mountain and pitiless desert. That part of the silk road, became the platform for ambitious journeys of western archeologists and European travelers wanting to search for the lost treasures of central Asia and bring back to the western world their fame and pride. The few that made it across the terror lands came back known as the foreign devils on the silk road (Aurel Stein, Sven Hedin, Paul Pelliot, Albert Von lecoqu).