Maniera nera revives the dry-point engraving technique known as mezzotint or maniera nera (17thC.) in order to reflect on the contemporary relationship between time and work. The appearance of this method signified an advance in engraving techniques – by “stippling” an existing piece, varying shades greys could be obtained. Normally, this work was carried out by apprentices and assistants, which entailed a long and monotonous task of scoring thousands of dots on the metal plate. Once finished, the plate was given to the master to complete the drawing on it.
The series exhibited here makes visible, through the prints, a task that was once invisible. The process becomes a piece in and of itself, thus valuing a devalued work. Returning to this type of process allows us to rethink the phenomena that affect our way of working, obsessed as we are in acceleration. Time acquires a productive value in which life and work become intertwined, creating a self-exploiting subject.