Everyday life - Interview

How and when did you take up photography?
«I started to take photographs when I was around 18, mainly travel and colour photographs. Over the years, I met many people who have been essential to my development. When I was 23 I met a war photographer who introduced me to black-and-white photography. In the 90s, I met Vasco Ascolini, who helped me to understand the world of professional photography. Over the course of my career, I was lucky enough to meet amazing men such as Italo Zannier, Nino Migliori, Michéle Moutashar, Jacques Le Goff, Xavier Canonne and many others who all contributed to my professional development».

Can you illustrate the photographs that are now in our collection? 
«The images selected by Alidem belong to two different projects. The ones set in Pompei are part of a series consisting of 45 photographs, all shot in the Italian archeological site and focused on the preciousness of memory, which is a legacy we really need to preserve. In one of those images there are some pillars, which to me look like one of the fascinating marks left by history; to me, pillars are also a symbol of the boundary between known and unknown, reality and imagination, life and death. But we can talk about it next time...»

What about the two other photos?
«Those two images are part of a series that I undertook several years ago. I suddenly realised that I was constantly rushing and missing out all the good things around me, all the small things that make life beautiful. I decided that I need to stop and start looking around with my heart rather than my eyes, and this is how this project was born. I thought that I wanted the photos to be set in private houses, so to capture all those daily life moments that we find so hard to enjoy because of our modern lifestyle».

What does photography mean to you? 
«I may lack originality, but to me photography is the way to tell other people what my heart feels. All my projects were born from an inner feeling, and most of my work was influenced by my thorny relationship with the passage of time».

What about your technique?
«I work with analog cameras and in black-and-white. I take care of every stage of my work, printing included, because I want to be fully in control. To print my photos, I prefer the high quality that I can obtain through the use of multiple filters during the exposure. This is also due to a person I met: at the beginning of the 2000s I met the French photographer Christian Breton, an incredible printer and a disciple of Pierre Gasmann. He used to print Robert Capa's photos. I learnt the technique from him and this changed my life».

Are you inspired by any photographer or artist?
«I believe we can always learn from other people, especially from the great masters. I've been inspired by many photographers and I should definitely mention Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, whose technique was just sublime. Nonetheless, as I was born in Emilia Romagna, I cannot help mentioning also Luigi Ghirri and Willy Ronis. I was lucky enough to met them both when I was exhibiting at the Musée Reattù (Arles, France) in 2000. I could go on listing names, but I prefer to stop here».

What are you working on right now? Any future plans?
«Right now, I'm working on large-size portraits of young farmers. It's a project that I undertook a year ago to depict the return of young people to the land: a challenging life choice, for sure. About my future plans, I have so many that I keep a notebook to write them down. I don't know if I'll ever be able to realise them. One step at a time, even though time always goes by so fast...»