From 1948 to 1949, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared 25 times to a girl named Anita Federici, on a spherical rock wall typical of the Apennines Mountains. The final time the partially-blind peasant girl saw Mary, a crowd of onlookers observed the apparition whispering three still-unknown secrets to her.

“Scala. Symbol to depict the process of growth, progressive ascent and self-identification.” From the series “Cose Certe” © Mauro Corinti

Mauro Corinti’s lyrical series Cose Certe references the landscape and rural tradition of the Marche Region of the Apennine Mountains. In Corinti’s words “the project began as a way of metabolizing the loss of my dear mother. I returned to my ancestors’ land and the house they built on it to process my grief. On this old rural property, not far from where the Virgin Mary appeared to the young Anita, I tried to listen to the elements and find answers.”

“Caverna. Multiple meanings that refer larger and more transversal meaning, that’s cavity, matrix and mother.” From the series “Cose Certe” © Mauro Corinti

Using instinct as his guide, Corinti staged mysterious props in real-world scenes, creating open-ended photographs. In one image, the artist’s camera frames the bottom third of a cedar or cypress armoire, pushed against a wall, with ball feet resting on concrete. One of its doors is open, revealing a pile of fresh snow. The other door is closed. Mounted on its face is a dirty mirror that reflects nothing but sunlight. Smaller piles of snow appear to have spilled out, creating wet rings around them on the floor. This image is untitled but has a caption that reads, “An open door shows us that there is a way out, and shows us what is next.” Each image in this series has a caption that feels like it was clipped from a different poetry book, amplifying the mystery and encouraging the viewer to find their own meaning.

“Untitled. An open door shows us that there a way out, and shows us what next.” From the series “Cose Certe” © Mauro Corinti

Cose Certe is the first chapter of a larger body of work for which Corinti will continue to explore time, memory and the fragility of life. “For me, photographing this series is a way of practicing awareness, being part of the landscape again, proving to myself that ‘art’ can still be useful—that it can be a method of self-care or a way to find myself again,” he says.


Editor’s note: This work by Mauro Corinti was selected as a special Juror’s Pick in the 2022 LensCulture Art Photography Awards. You can discover the work by all 39 award-winning photographers on the winner’s page.