Bright eyes is a project by Italian photographer Pierpaolo De Angelis realized inside the Museum of History and Natural Sciences of Milan.
In Milan, when you are young and at school or an adult with nothing to do, you can visit the Museum of History and Natural Sciences.
It is one of those old museums with doors and staircases, display cases, visitors (mostly children) and guards. Nothing like the modern exhibition spaces that are like mazes and always guide you towards the bar. In other words, it is a bit old in appearance but very pleasant in manner. It looks very much like the attic of one’s grandparents, where everything is always the same as the last time.
Walking round the display cases and the perfectly-formed dioramas, I found the animals. There were hunting and survival scenes as well as quiet scenes of natural, everyday life. There were snowy steppes and high summits, open deserts and, again, steep cliffs. It was a shame that they, the animals, were all stuffed. The thing I was most impressed by, however, was not knowing that these animals were all dead, but seeing that their eyes were still strikingly alive.
So I composed this work, placing the gaze of those animals at the centre of the frame. Alert gazes or simply curious looks, fearful glances, but also those that issued a challenge to me Eventually, observing those shots, the impression I got was that of having restored importance to life, of which the eye is its mirror.
Text and images © Pierpaolo De Angelis