Massimo Vitali is not your average disco kid. Before April 1994, he hadn’t entered a nightclub for over 20 years. […] Using the broader ten by eight format for his photographs Vitali achieved a rare sense of depth and detail to the pictures, in part realized by elevating the camera above the partying masses with the aid of a custom-made eighteen-foot tripod and platform. A viewpoint that also enabled a certain “cold and neutraL” distance between photographer and subject. Five years on and Vitali’s words and works now ring with a certain ambivalence towards the resort clubscene – the studied observations of someone who has spent years in dank, sweaty corners keenly watching disco behavior. “At first, the crowds were fascinating – the way they moved, the things they did. Maybe they’s take ecstasy, maybe they wouldn’t. Maybe they’d dance and maybe they’d go home after ten minutes,” he recalls. But when you’re amongst the crowds, you don’t see the conformity. Up above, gazing down, you see things a little differently.”

[…] At the start of the summer when resort clubbing (and its media coverage) will reach implosion point – Harry Enfield “discovering” Ibiza, Ministry branching out into package holidays, Ibiza Uncovered repeated for the fifth time – Vitali’s images suggest some serious dancefloor ennui. “I’m not a moralist, but it felt to me like these people were trying to lose contact with themselves, as if they didn’t really like their lives, ” he states. “They work all week, perhaps do stupid jobs, then dance till seven in the morning.” No new revelation, perhaps, but an unsettling one nontheless. Next up for Vitali is a project centring on the very- British institution of the holiday camp. From resort clubs to holiday camps – draw your own conclusions. And in case you think it’s just middle-aged photographers who suffer from dancehall disillusionment, Vitali has the photographs to prove otherwise.

Glenn Waldron, "The Last Resort" in i-D, June 2000, p. 154.