The Looking Game

The Looking Game is the first installment of “The Subnarratives”, an ongoing project by Mirko Smerdel and M.F.G. Paltrinieri. Taking the shape of a series of case studies, the aim of the collaboration is to investigate the characteristics and nature of photographs as documents and the relationship with the story they tell.

The Looking Game explores the once-secret archive of pictures taken by Rodney Alcala, serial killer and amateur photographer, active between the late 60s and the 70s and imprisoned in the Death Row since 1980.
The book provides an unusual take on the photographic medium starting from the connection between Alcala’s pictures and the alias he adopted while on the run from the police: John Berger, as the famous British art critic and author of the groundbreaking TV documentary Ways of Seeing. Is this only a coincidence? Did Alcala know about John Berger?
The Looking Game, set up a series of connections between Berger’s words and some of the images taken from Alcala’s archive of pictures creating a work that calls into question the act of taking pictures as well as the reproduced image starting from the question: “What makes these pictures so unsettling?”

Talk and booksigning, September 27, 7pm, micamera – lens based arts, Milano.

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