There, there

leonardo taddei

2020 - Ongoing

Montelepre, Sicily, Italy; Florence, Tuscany, Italy; Bagnoregio, Latium, Italy; Riga, Latvia; Smiltene, Latvia; Castagneto Carducci, Tuscany, Italy; Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

"Tell me, Mother,

What is the precise point where you stop being you and start being me?

What is the difference between me and the signals of light that the pines in the mountains and the stars in the galaxies exchange?

Last night I dreamed of you, Mother, and the place where we lived together. In the dream, I went back there to retrieve the items I had left. In response, the place had completely changed. It was much larger and the floors were no longer in wood but in stone.

The room was crowded and full of people working together. I can’t say exactly what you were working on, but what struck me was that you did it together. I had never seen you and them so united and happy. We hugged, you showed me where they had moved my things so as not to lose them. My stuff was all still there in perfect condition. I was moved, I felt like a traitor.

I left you, Mother, at the most difficult moment, thinking only for myself.

Then I woke up.

A sense of melancholy went through me all day and I told myself that I have to go back to you, at least for a moment,

at least with my memories.


In those days that I remember as good memories, we talked about doing nothing, about letting nature do her part and of intervening as little as possible. We talk about natural balance. You gave us the example of the pond.

Some time ago some fish appeared inside it. The fish had multiplied out of all proportion and the pond was full of them. We wondered what to do, we even ask a fisherman to come and get them.

But soon a heron came. The heron ate a lot of fish and we were scared, after a few weeks of the bird’s arrival, that it will run out of all the fish. One morning we woke up and we only found the feathers of the heron.

In the night, the fox had passed.


I remember:

the sun filtering through the broken branches after

a windy night; the dogs playing with animal’s bones on the cows' hill; the smell of herbs left to wither; the collection of mushrooms that grow spontaneously behind the house; the mushrooms spaghetti, the never-ending summer days; the differences between bees and wasps; the spider that comes to visit me while I sleep.

All these memories intrigue and fascinate me, awakening in me curiosities and unexpected feelings.

How could I had been so blind?


You are in the depths of me, Mother, and at the same time, you contain me.



Moving from one countryside place to the other, starting in Italy and, thanks to an ISSP residency, continuing in Latvia, I got to know communities and families who decided to live far away from cities. The project has turned into an exploration of the human relationship with nature, or our way of imagining it, I research ancestral images on the trail of a mysterious, suspended, peaceful world.

There, there is a fictional story of the writer's journey back to the memory of his time spent in Arcadia: a natural world in which men, animals and plants live in harmony. A place where men don’t need to labour as nature is generous and provides sustenance for everyone.

The project is composed of a relationship between images and words and it took shape during a workshop with Jörg Colberg.

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