‘Malia’ is one of those rare Italian words that are too transiently sculptured with potent possibility and resonance to specifically decipher, define and fix. Very approximately though, it means ‘spell’, but one that has negative implications or dark connotations, a spell of shades and portent. The sirens are a good example of this, they embody a shadow magnetised song, a chant of fantastical poetry sung in dark voices that spell binds men (sailors), driving them into trance states and downwards into the depths of oblivion. In another sense, ‘Malia’ is said to be like an invisible dark thread, chain, or rope that tethers and binds something or someone.
‘Malia’ also can be described to have this mysterious ability to achieve unusual and disconcerting effects (and not necessarily through deliberate magical practise or the occult), oftentimes inconspicuously and subtly to begin with making the ‘malia’ all the more ensnaring. One is aware of an ‘effect’ , something that has been internalised transforming seemingly everything on the outside. Something has happened, but one isn’t sure what, when or how. One has difficulty defining it, one has a sense of a kind, but that’s about it.
In short, ‘Malia’ is enchantment, it’s charm, it’s the flickering of shadows hence it’s also the light source, it’s the glow, it’s the song that drowns the listener, it’s the power of seduction. It’s what’s left behind. It’s when it’s over.
Containing 90 monochrome photographs offset printed on heavy uncoated paper, (the) ‘Malia’ begins in the morning and over an expanse of 180 pages, through the greys (ash to charcoal), the tones, the shadows, it closes at sunset, on top of the volcano. This Malia.
Munken Lynx Rough 150gsm paper
limited edition of 191 numbered and signed copies
photographs, design and text Laura Rodari
self published 2020
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