There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea
A solitude of death, but these
Society shall be
Compared with that profounder site
That polar privacy
A soul admitted to itself –
Finite Infinity.

Emily Dickinson, Poetries

 

Massimo Vitali is the photographer of beaches, or, better, of people on the beach, or, even better, the photographer of the beaches of people, framing the world from above.

“As God?” I asked him, referring to the effect he produces on viewers of his photos, (an alienating sensation, a feeling of distance from all the bodies, sunscreens, hats and inflatable animals on the waves saturated with water and pixels), but also referring a bit to his manner, easy going but distant, like a God who already knows everything and is a bit fade up of the humans.

No, not like God, more like a Prince, he answered me. And then he gave to his assistant a complicit smile, a quite man who walked around looking at the air and the light, seeing nothing but air and light, before diving back into his laptop wrinkling his forehead.

There is a solitude of space
A solitude of sea

Vitali dominates from above, standing on his huge scaffolding that the two bring everywhere – like that of American lifeguards – a tower of 5 or 6 meters that he calls “prince”, a name that refers to the Prince’s box in the classical theatre, the one that is higher than all the others, he explains to me.

Watching from above the big theater of the world, the Author as God, like Calderon de la Barca the Spanish writer, I think as the artist talks while his assistant continues to look for a possible focus, a Don Chisciotte with his faithful squire.

To frame every detail, every tattoo, every swimsuit strap, every splash, every colored sandal yet without ever touching it, restores a perfect world.

Susanna Tartaro, The Prince’s View, in Susanna Tartaro Blog, October 23, 2019.Backstage chronicle of a special commission at Arte Sella.