Thursday, 30 May 2013

Hollow

Hollow by *GothicNarcissusWaking, falling stars from substratum.
Who holds the key to break the old bonds?
Stare into space
Until you cannot see your face.

I turn away.
I turn, but never get back.
Trying hard to be someone,
In return you end up hollow.
Like a sinking ship I float,
A stormy sunny day, I turn away.

I’ve come to realize this is gone tomorrow.
Brittle and frail, we will fall down.
All that we are is a means to an end,
It doesn’t matter what you do.
Give me your hand and open up your eyes,
And burn away, release yourself.

I turn away.
I turn, but never get back.
Trying hard to be someone,
In return you end up hollow.
Like a sinking ship I float,
A stormy sunny day, I turn away.

I will not follow you
Across the silver sky of summer.
And like someone from tomorrow
I sense innocence.
In my dreaming
I wasn’t sleeping.

I turn away.
I turn, but never get back.
Trying hard to be someone,
In return you end up hollow.
Like a sinking ship I float,
A stormy sunny day, I turn away.

[ Hollow – Theatre of Tragedy ]

I have never quite understood why, but for some reasons Hollow, Frozen and Illusions by Theatre of Tragedy, all of which are found on their last album Forever Is The World, are intrinsically connected with one another in my mind. And beside that, I love them very much: they’re beautiful, emotional and inspiring. While single verses from them have inspired me since 2009 (even at the same time, as in Frozen, Hollow Illusions), I never quite had the idea for an image that could represent them as a whole. I did not want to “waste” them on “unworthy” photos, so to speak, thus I preferred waiting for a very strong concept to form in my head.
Finally, last January, I learned from my friend Uriele a nice digital technique to turn writings into watercolour-like graphics. At first I just put it aside until, while wandering the centre of Milan one morning with Theatre of Tragedy in my ears, I got carried away with one of my usual reveries and the idea for a Hollow-inspired picture struck: what if I tried to combine some photos on an empty white background, like they were to be published on a glossy fashion magazine page, and insert such a title in-between them? It could turn out to be a cool idea if I planned it carefully.
I decided straightaway what the photos themselves would look like (as that was part of my daydream) getting inspiration from the keywords in the lyrics, then I headed to the nearby Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to check if everything was in place and if it was possible for me to put a model the way I wanted – which was definitely the case. The choice of the location was not random: ever since I shot Machinery Of The Stars, in my ming that place is strongly connected to Theatre of Tragedy and represents specifically the “silver sky of summer” mentioned in the lyrics. The floor also has stars (that’s one thing I had to check) and in the afternoon the Galleria gets a beautiful light that would fit the mood of the song perfectly. Uriele, who’s an amazing model, also happened to have clothes that fit my idea, so everything was in place. Once I got home, I did some experiments with the digital watercolour technique and the result turned out very pretty. For some reasons, I’ve always associated Hollow with sepia, so that became the main colour of the title and the dominant hue of the photos in the postproduction. All the pieces were in place, my idea could really work.
Truth be told, I didn’t set the plan in motion until last weekend because I’m a lazy ass, but given the murky weather I found pretty much each other time I was in Milan earlier this year, that sunny afternoon was the best choice to get the right mood. I regarded the photos as actual fashion shots: my “story” could be perfectly told through a portrait, another photo showing some detail of the outfit and some view of the architecture from the location of the shooting. The result exceeded my highest expectations.
I’m planning to develop Frozen and Illusions the same way I did Hollow, although it’s going to take some time because I don’t have an exact idea about the latter yet, while the former is perfectly mapped out but will have to wait till winter for – err – obvious reasons. In the meantime, I did other experiments with the watercolour technique which became another project I will publish tomorrow or the day after. But now, I really hope you’ll enjoy Hollow, perhaps while listening to the beautiful song that inspired it in the first place.

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