Mirta d’Argenzio: You changed your way of photographing landscapes. What interested you most in the swimming pool in De Haan Kiss from 2001?
Massimo Vitali: This is a photo about people and the water. The form of people in the water. The surface of the water that deforms. It was important to have a swimming pool for this study. I found a man who put his swimming pools in Belgium at our disposition. I really like the reflections of the bodies in the water in this photo, as well as the disposition of the people which is not beach-like. The figures that emerge from the blue. Moreover, given that these were swimming pools with regular artificial waves, there was always a lot of movement. And within this movement there is this couple kissing at the bottom, the emblem of the photograph.

MdA: Picnic Alleé from 2001, is as they say, a shot that grabs you. It was chosen by Harald Szeeman for his Biennale in 2001. How was it born?
MV: In Paris, for the year 2000, France decided to organize a picnic along the Paris axis that takes in the Senate, the Observatory and the Jardin du Luxembourg. These rolls of paper tablecloths were printed on which the people would eat. That 14th of July it rained virtually everywhere in France. The only place in the sun was where I took the photo.

MdA: Duplé Paura 1 is from 1997 and is one of your rare images not en plein air. How come?
MV: In 1997 I had already started to make the beaches series and in the winter I thought that the discotheques might be a winter substitute for the beaches. This series was born at a time in which the discotheques were a very popular place of youthful aggregation. This is one of the rare photographs that is not an en plein air landscape but where the people create the landscape. An illuminated internal landscape. I photographed 15 or so discotheques, all in Italy. I think I captured important moments in our history.

Mirta D'Argenzio, Interview with Massimo Vitali, catalog of the exhibition Short Stories at Mazzoleni Gallery in London, April 12 - May 24, 2019.