Massimo Vitali in Conversation

Students from the Lawrence Academy Groton visited Massimo Vitali's studio on March 10, 2017.
He talked about photography, life and successful ideas.


Editor

What’s between Your Fingers but that World into which You Have Thrust Your Hand?

One wonders how long it took for the others-most of the people in the scene-not to stare at the photographer on his giant podium. In digital processing, of course, it would be possible to eliminate anyone looking at the camera. Indeed, it would be possible to generate everything digitally in both pictures. The supernaturally sharp, bright, wood, and deep vista does seem a little faked, like a postcard or poster that has been touched up, whiter by airbrush (analog) or software (digital).


Whitney Davis

Unease of the Normal

Reality has always been interpreted through the reports given by images; and philosophers since Plato have tried to loosen our dependence on images by evoking the standard of an image-free way of apprehending the real. In today’s society we really live under the supremacy of images. It is not reality but images as conceptions that reproduce the illusion. Vitali, however, uses exactly images/photographs to debunk the illusion of reality.


Alan Kostrenčić

Millimeter after Millimeter

While many reduce photography to a formal symbol of itself in order to find a rhetoric close to that painting, Vitali produces images that adhere "millimeter after millimeter" to their photographic nature.


Daniel Soutif

Apotheosis of the Herd

Vitali’s work refuses to capture the idea of the beach and instead presents its current state, packed with all the reality of today’s social concerns: overpopulation, the glorification of the banal, and the contradictory desires for independence and a cultural identity.


Daniel Levis Keltner

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Vitali himself speaks of a “reality that exists but is never seen as such.” This “magic dimension”, as he calls it, is the space of art.


Miriam Rosen

Out of a Work State-of-Mind

I look at everything, I follow things, I have these strange fantasies about what people do, what people think, how they move.  This way of watching the people makes my days very enjoyable and fruitful.  If I wasn’t doing this I could be a really bored old man who’s not doing anything.


Richard Kern

How Beautiful is the City

As Massimo Vitali said in an interview with Angela Madesani, he became regarded as an ethologist studying human society, its relationships, its interactions and its spaces, with the term "Natural Habitats" being coined.


Giacinto di Pierantonio

An Open Window

Leon Battista Alberti, the theorist of perspective, in his book De pictura talked about the way he painted. The theory of perspective was the first step in the long path that led to the invention of photography. In the quote and the note that follow, we can see a parallel with Massimo Vitali’s work. His different large format cameras are open windows to the world he chooses to capture. His shoots present realities in which bodies are sometimes cropped or repeated (as in the diptychs). Stories happen; characters show themselves to the spectator who is free to imagine relationship between them.


Blog Editor

Looking Down

Where the realist fragment, embodied in the peeking head of Manet at the side of the Music in the Tuileries (1862) or the dangling legs of the acrobat at the top of the Masked Ball at the Opera (1873) came to stand for a new mode of figuring the immediacy of visual experience as well as a synechdocic representation of the characters that constituted the modern, Vitali’s cut off figures who enter and exit at front, side and bottom of his images, cannot help but reference the democratising languages of analogue photography, now itself fast becoming an historical medium.


Tamar Garb