Vitali’s characters are inactive. It’s difficult to represent the farniente. Vitali succeeds in doing so by underlying that the farniente provokes endless issues. Why do beaches, in the degraded conditions depicted by Vitali, still attract so many people? The crowd reassembled under the lens of Vitali is characterized by its frightening banality. The suspension of the judgement by the artist reinforces this uneasiness: we are in front of as many mysteries as people. The representation of leisure as a counterpoint of the history of the image where work is at the center of group portraits, is one of Vitali’s concerns. But how can we represent nothingness in a packed world? The fascination of Vitali’s images depends, without a doubt, on the subtleties of the comings and goings between people as individuals or as part of a community, between the pleasure of the summer and the constraints of the technique, the city and society. Vitali’s large-format prints put us in a position of sense co-production. The spectator is in charge of creating a part of the interpretative process, he/she is the one who pulls the strings of the biographical trajectories. The work of Massimo Vitali is less simple that it seems, developing with a particularly original form as a support for anthropological fiction.

Sophie Blass-Fabiani, "Sur le sable" in Massimo Vitali: The Beaches of Var / Feet in the Water, Hôtel des Arts / Centre méditerranéen d'art, 2000, p. 10