From 7 to 7. When time stands still is a project born of an urgent need to tell the story of an entire generation, the over-thirties, an image reflecting the contemporary world, offering an intense portrait in the silence of peoples’ homes, the isolation at night, and the gestures of everyday and more intimate life.
From 7 in the evening to 7 in the morning (which is what the title alludes to) is the time when the shots are taken. It is a time – night-time – when women and men, through sleep and dreams, can truly be, can escape the tyranny of time, the life-scanning logic dictated by neocapitalism. Night is a place inhabited by figures, and the darkness that carries them does not force blindness upon the gaze; instead, a gentle light gives objects and existence a different weight. Michela Benaglia chooses to photograph people she does not know but has met by chance, in the intimacy of their own homes, without exchanging any words or gestures with them except for the click of the shutter.
The thirty-year-old generation, trapped between a youth they have left behind and their life as adults, the time various American writers from Douglas Coupland to Dave Eggers have talked about, is the synecdoche of contemporary society and existence, suspended between the arrhythmia of everyday life, the places they frenetically cross, and the reassuring refuge of home. The portraits of the details, the objects bathed in light, bodies brushing against the dark, are full of an almost pictorial silence and suspense, the same symbols as we see in Edward Hopper. What results is a telling of actions that occur between things during this waiting time, the interval when nothing happens yet which is revealed as a precious place, one rich in meaning.
Text by Giulia Polenta