When I am on vacation, sometimes it happens that I am immersed in the world and sometimes I observe it from afar. Fortunately, in both situations, I am never alone. And you, who will you bring on your holiday?

This summer I will go to the seaside with two special fellows: Massimo Vitali and Alex Prager. Neither of them know that for many years now I have considered them my favorites, and that they have influenced the way I look at the sea. I believe it is important, useful but also exciting to have “photographic fathers” who unconsciously, through their shoots, suggest new points of view.
I often look for some reference points that can accompany me in the vision and comprehension of the world. With the sea, it is different: I look inside of me, I listen to the emotions that try to emerge, and I can’t overcome the visions of Vitali and Prager. So I prepare to go, this year as well, on vacation with their sight as it has also become my own.

In August I go to the beach, immersed in an overwhelming landscape that is always very crowded, so crowded that it becomes a real undertaking to find a place to put my towel in order to sunbath.
When the heat becomes unbearable, everyone moves quietly to the water and remains still to chat or to look at the rocks that hug the beach. In those moments, I cannot help but think of the images of Massimo Vitali that pushed me to embrace other points of view. In those moments, which occur frequently during my vacation, I feel like I am staying in the water together with him and I also imagine conversations with him.

Known as the photographer of the beaches, Massimo Vitali was born in Como in 1944 and after high school he moved to London where he studied photography at the London College of Printing.
At the beginning of the 80s, he started to believe that photography does not have the complete capacity of reproducing the subtleties of reality, and he decided to change his career path. He started working as a photography director for television and cinema.
Nevertheless, his relationship with the camera never stopped and ultimately he chose photography as his preferred medium for artistic research. He started to work on the series of Italian beaches in 1995, in a period of drastical political changes in the country.

The beach is a common field, equal, an ideal place to observe society: “The beach is a perfect point of view because in this place, that for me is firstly a non-place, people are cool, without defenses and it is an ideal situation to be studied. When we are at the beach we are more casual, more still, we barely move, we are more natural and relaxed. From the beach I look at society from close up” says Massimo Vitali in an article published on the HuffPost, “the beach is a sort of microcosm where humanity is concentrated. It is a fantastic place to observe and document individuals because here people are themselves, do not act and get together regardless of the social class they belong to”.

The photographer is moved by an anthropological and sociological interest: “On the beach I recognize some key moments that are at the base of our society: family groups, relationships between people of the same age and friends, the change in care and aesthetic of the bodies, for example, lately, tattoos are all the rage”.
Vitali’s panoramic views show people who interact in their own environment and expose their relationships, their networks and also some non-stories; there are moments in which even if it seems that nothing is happening, the eye of the photographer always catches something.

Federica Cerami, "Questa estate andrò in vacanza con Massimo Vitali e Alex Prager" in Ilas Magazine, July 31, 2017.