The internationally recognized Massimo Vitali pursues his ongoing research on landscape and mass-culture, which includes issues related to the built environment (who shapes it, and why). The sight of a “solarium” installed near Mount Etna in Under the Volcano, Catania (the volcano is visible in the distance and its power present in the black rock in the foreground) is characteristic of his interest in creating an inventory of leisure where nature and culture meet. Luc Sante has commented perceptively on the affinity of this photography with that of the Bechers:

Vitali’s neutral gaze, his quasi-scientific detachment his precise rules – he mages a point of shooting from an elevation, on the periphery of his subject – all call to mind the great German documenters of the end of industry, Bernd and Hilla Becher. Vitali approaches mass leisure the way the Bechers approach water tower and pitheads: with a kind of entomological collector’s passion that may appear cold because it is so rigorous.*

With a background in photojournalism and filmmaker, Vitali works within a strictly analogue tradition, using a large-format camera and non-digital enlargement, and presenting his photographs like sculptural objects or mural-size prints, carefully planned, creative statements about the conformism of the Italian Masses.

*Luc Sante, Under the Boardwalk, Down by the Sea, Condé Nast Traveler (2007), pp. 98-105.

Maria Antonella Pellizzari, Photography and Italy, Exposure series, Reaktion Books, London 2011, pp. 161, 162.