Napoli Explosion is the combinatorial synthesis of an emotional transition. A year dies flowing and vanishing into the new one. A reckless eye shuttles fast as an eyelid beat from far away on the City of Naples with no human shape in sight. An invisible Humanity as a whole of hundred thousands, lights her illusion of challenging the immense power of nature, embodied by the still and silent menace of the Vesuvius Volcano. It seems like a war scene seen in the distance: the myriad of fireworks’ constellation of the City as an anti-aircraft fire against the imaginary menace lying in the passing of Time.On one side, a minuscule, invisible multitude of human beings obsessed and eaten up by Time celebrates its death and resurrection in the New Year’s Day fireworks mess. On the other side stands the Volcano, ironically waiting in shade and silence for the moment to his fury to explode unnanounced: out of Time, guided by earth’s breath and beat, synchronized with the rhythm of Universe. The City surrounds it, lights-bombing it while motionless and mute: an enormous deep blue shadow of an overturned cone whose roots plunge into earth bowels’s chaos of fire and energy: it seems to live out of Human Time.
The City of Naples explodes in the artifice of the impermanent costellation of fireworks, that the faraway eye, standing on the Faito Mountain just in front of the City, catches in all its rageous sense of vengeance against the deathly power of Vesuvius, as as a sort of exhibition of euphory in a state of trance, in the momentary victory on Death symbolized by the passage to a new year of Life. It’s an exorcism, a rite. New Year’s Day in Naples is something more than a simple celebration. It’s a state of mind: the city is notorious all over the world for its black market of illegal, dangerous fireworks: an hidden business which reveals all the iconoclastic fury of its inhabitants against Time and History. At midnight a kind of cyclic Potlatch begins, in which pepole gets rid of everything belonging to Past, throwing away out of the windows furnitures, objects, old stuff not worthy surviving the Big Fire aiming to the illusion of an eternal Present Time of everlasting Youth. Amura gives an human soul to what is lifeless: the city itself explodes, challenging Nature.
Stop-emotion is meant to play with Time and Perception, catching the moments in which chance becomes actualized destiny in visible shapes. Decomposing reality as it is imposed by linearity of chronological time by fragmenting it into its emotional peaks. Time gets purified, ceases to be a measure, becomes a concrete object whose essence is the visibility of emotions. As in Plato’s optics, the eye enlights and reveals reality, there’s nothing “objective” in the sensible act of seeing. This subjective vision caught by the photographer becomes raw material for another dimension: emotions in their indistinct multiplicity of times, to be built as a performance in the rhythm of music by stop-emotion.
Stop-emotion works as a visual score: the frozen images captured out of the space-time continuum into a fragmented flux are like “visual notes” to be played in a syncronic flux guided by the rhythm of music in a live performance. What we see in Amura’s edited version is the Composer’s performance, one of the infinite combinations possible starting from the sequence of visual moments caught in their ecstatic movement of continual metamorphosis. As clouds ever changing form in time, the frames flow one into another onwards and backwards in a costant mutation of the same elements, exploding stars of fireworks suddenly becoming (with a zooming in) abstracted halos of lights and spots of colour. Max Richter’s “Infra 2” music, which Amura choose to soundtrack his edited passages, emphasizes and stresses just one of the possibile paths to cross the emotional reconstruction of the happening. As in a mash-up of time and space, the sound of the overlapping multiplicity of the explosions plays its part in building a sonic image fastening visual mutations to the “chronological time” of the event,
The Eye catches the collective core of the fireworks galaxy, focusing for a moment on the flowering shapes of the explosions, then continuing its travelling clouding colour trails, signs of pure movement. Reminiscences of the rotten colors on black background squeezed from the tube as in Mario Schifano’s paintings of the Vesuvius Volcano entangle with circular halos of light as in a nocturnal Balla’s painting or in the sky of a too acid Klee, radial luminescences reminding 2001: a Space Odisssey‘s journey at the speed of light melt with op-art deliriums and fractal hallucinations, instantaneous deaths of the artificial supernovae of Fireworks, leaving their impermanent traces into the rapid eye-movement far away. The effect is that of an eyelid beating out of control, with fireworks lbecoming shooting stars floating into the vitreous humor of the invisible eye.
The Volcano rises from Earth like a deep blue ghost of a wild daemon, a silent rebuke on a future unpredictable explosion, which no collective exorcism can overcome. The Gulf seems embracing the Mountain,
trying to help the City in the attempt of choking the indomitable power of Earth. But in the end, when the temporary chain of explosions cease to beat leaving behind a trail of silence, there’s the quiet yet creepy moment of the After. The sky is silently clawn back by celestial bodies before the silence of the Volcano. The persistance of the natural elements after the ordeal, as the Moon standing as a lamplight into the celestial heights, are signs of the inevitable victory of Nature on the mortal human mess, destined to vanish into the eternity of circadian cycles and their unchangeable Truth.