Chiara Caselli

One of the most intriguing and versatile Italian actresses of her generation, Chiara Caselli has worked with such auteur legends as Michelangelo Antonioni and Liliana Cavani and America's cult director Gus Van Sant. In 1999, Caselli turned to filmmaking, winning acclaim with her debut short film Per Sempre. In 2016, her equally successful short Molly Bloom, taken from Joyce's Ulysses, was screened at the Venice Film Festival.


Over the years, Caselli has been increasingly drawn to the art of photography. Focusing on nature and lone human figures, she has created a subtle and sensual body of work of high pictorial value. Recognition has grown rapidly: in 2011, Caselli took part in the 54th Venice International Art Biennale and has since held solo shows at the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo, Japan and as part of Moscow’s 12th International Photobiennale 2018.



I met Maria and Jojo last summer, on an island; they were in love, "fresh in love" as Shakespeare says in the only verse I can remember by heart. Looking at them I saw what I couldn't live. Then, one day, while I was in postproduction trying to focus, I read this kōan, the apparently paradoxical sentences the Tao masters give to their pupils.

We left each other ages ago, although we have never been apart.

All day we are face to face, yet we never met.


Molly is the main character in the final chapter in James Joyce's novel Ulysses. We first met when I was still small: I was twelve and mother took me to the theatre to see a play where the role of Molly was taken by the outstanding Italian actress, Piera degli Esposti. It was an unforgettable encounter. At about that time I began taking photographs. Although the link with Molly only became clear to me many years later, when the desire to convey my inner life in visual images became the most important aspect of my quest as a photographer.


My real immersion in the text and images of Molly began in 2010. It was a long journey involving constant development and diverse means of expression: from Joyce's text to its theatrical adaptation, from a play performed at the Spoleto Festival to my short film presented at the Venice Film Festival in 2016. I shot these photographs in Molly's bedroom, in the 1940's house where I filmed my short movie; one year later, when I was told the house had been sold, I went there for the last time, to say goodbye.


The horizon as a transcending reality, the space between you and into the infinite. It is the gift I received at my first arrival in Ginostra, the wild side of the Sicilian island of Stromboli: Fata Morgana, as they call this phenomenon there, coming up from the sea like a mist of light.


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