Taking its title from the conjectured subject of a film in a dream, A Tropical Story ventures into foreign lands both internal and external, discovering where they intersect and where they diverge. Moving between life’s stations of transition, Guzzetti’s existential tour contemplates the transience of all life, the mutability of all perception.
Resembling a glimpse inside the DNA of modern existence, Guzzetti’s breathtaking composition seems to harness all the visible and invisible forces that connect and disconnect humanity. The various natural, political, violent, serene, exhilarating and alienating powers comprise a mediated complex through which the focal point of mortality appears both ever-present and faraway. Guzzetti pinpoints this surreal tension by recognizing its inherent blindness.
A busy three-way intersection in Calcutta flows with the pulsing synergy of daytime life and movement, while the news headlines of the day fade in and out along the bottom of the frame in this observational, single-shot work.
Façades, cityscapes, landscapes—a series of images shot with a still camera—Guzzetti shifts his video work from that often made to be seen on a monitor in a gallery to that meant to be experienced large-scale, in widescreen. The images themselves are visually simple, but also stunningly beautiful and emotionally complex. There is a surface tension to the work, so that seemingly placid shots can seem ominous, or at least portentous. The work’s title and a final dissolve between two images seem to indicate that Guzzetti is exploring the relationship between the moment and its division by past and future.
Guzzetti uses HD video to explore street scenes, portraits, seascapes and skyscapes in slow motion and with startlingly vivid detail, as the camera seems to move more quickly than the mostly static pedestrians it captures. As in the films of Jean Epstein, the slow motion serves to render the moment more potent, as it makes the spectator more aware of the passing of time, as does the evocative use of sound and the score by Kurt Stallmann.