From Dance Halls to Discos, Part II

Giovanna Calvenzi: Gabriele practices solitude, he awaits solitude, and his photographs search for solitude, Massimo places himself where he is forced to be alone, on high, above everyone.
Massimo Vitali: Just physically. Fortunately my assistant never speaks.
GC: The moment of photographing is a moment of great solitude. You both put yourselves (with dance halls and discos) in a situation that epitomizes crowds, noise, and visual, audio, tactile chaos…
MV: I’ve never spoken to anyone in discos.

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Gabriele Basilico, Massimo Vitali, Giovanna Calvenzi, Alberto Bianda

From Dance Halls to Discos, Part I

I called the managers of the discos, and that wasn’t easy either. They’d keep their phones on the hook only half an hour a day, and I’d try to explain: “I’m doing this project on discos and I’d like to come and take some photos, but we’re going to use this big tripod, then the flash…”, and they would say: “Well… come, ask for the electrician, and get together with him…” They didn’t even ask why. It was totally crazy. Usually, we’d arrive at around four or five with the first electricians. I’d set up eight or nine flashed – 3,000 kilojoules each – I’d mount the tripod, then wait for something good to happen.

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Gabriele Basilico, Massimo Vitali, Giovanna Calvenzi

The Curiosity of the Prince

However, in 15 years of work nobody has complained, though there have been some who have been recognized in the photos. Probably detachment, non-involvement, and objectivity, which are the foundation of my work, have kept me from troubles.

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Michele Chiossi

Masquerades as Reality

The traffic in signs is a shifting and constantly reforming visual landscape, a mixture of the histories that form us and the politics that define us. On these journeys and journeyings, a camera has usually preceded us, often accompanies us, and inhabits our material and mental worlds. In the photographic image an imaginary world masquerades as reality, but in that masquerade something of the world’s magical strangeness might reside in the most familiar of encounters: a day at the beach a night at the club.

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Jon Bird

A Chat on Photography

In this video, I’m talking with Enrico Ratto about my work and photography in general. I talk about my obsessions, impostors, pictures that I hate and much more.

Sorry, the interview is in Italian! If you don’t understand the language, you will need to wait until next week for a new post.

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Massimo Vitali & Enrico Ratto

Digital vs. Analog

Massimo Vitali's diptych of the Sao Paolo market in Brazil highlights the dichotomy of digital vs. analogue photography and its various implications. One photograph is taken with analogue film and one with a digital camera, leaving the viewer to contemplate the minimal difference between the two images. The artist's intent is to provoke in the viewer a series of reflections specifically on the medium employed and more generally on the larger idea of representation.

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Alessandro Romanini

Portraying the Ephemeral

But a logical sequence is continually escaping, always referring back to that disorder, which we are undeniably fascinated by and which offers us the ephemeral opportunity to cut out a temporal space in our lives that is free from financial and social conditioning. Vitali’s photos tell of this desire, white and undefined just as in our dreams.

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Valentina Muscedra

Marseille

"Marseille isn't a city for tourists. There's nothing to see. Its beauty can't be photographed. It can only be shared. It's a place where you have to take sides, be passionately for or against. Only then can you see what there is to see. And you realize, too late, that you're in the middle of a tragedy. An ancient tragedy in which the hero is death. In Marseille, even to lose you have to know how to fight."
Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Chaos.

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Editor

Domenica

A number of large-format Italian views from his famous Beach Series are now on display at Palais Metternich. Due to their ethereal or even surreal exquisiteness, Due Sorelle Motor Boat (2013) and Bassa Trinità Blue Ball (2013) fit in very well with the elegant atmosphere of the Garland Salon. On the other hand, Rosignano Night (1995), packed with a crowd of people, and the somewhat unwieldy Livorno Calafuria (2002) have been installed in the Battle Salon, named after a monumental painting attributed to Nicola Mario Rossi that shows Vienna’s liberation from the Turks in 1683.

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Marcello Farabegoli

2004

In Travelling light: Photography, Travel and Visual Culture, Peter D. Osborne describes the beach as a place on the periphery: "As a site of cultural meanings the holiday beach tends to be associated with the liminal. It stands literally, literally at both the social and geographical edge. It is fluid, part nature and part out, spaced-out, a slip of land where society leaves its slip showing where things split out…" As a separate space, the beach gives individuals the opportunity to relax unencumbered by clothes or quotidian tasks, and as such has long drawn photographers, such as Paul Martin and Weege, focused on capturing the working classes at leisure.

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Matthew Trygve Tung