This post is also available in: Italian
I’ve been asked to write. I’ve started, and now this page is no longer blank. Perhaps it would look better blank, without these black signs called letters; honestly, I believe that too.
I’ve always preferred pictures, so that I don’t have to be that specific, but I’ve been asked to write. Then I’ve found out that the whole thing is more complicated: actually, you end up making life difficult for yourself with pictures, sometimes. But it was done by then, so I went ahead, losing and finding myself several times, until today, when they’ve asked me to write. I have to write about Italy in the pictures of Everyday_Italy: that is, I have to write about photography, or rather… I have to take pictures through words.
Holy cow, where did I get myself into?
So, if I were to take a picture of Italy through words now, it would be a satellite one; but I haven’t been there on a daily basis for some months, so I can only watch from a distance and listen to the echo of facts, without living it.
It’s a soften way of perceiving, as if my ears were underwater, and the water mass, and 1,647 kilometers, and 16 hours 42 minutes that separate Amsterdam from Rome. Well, it would be impossible to travel over this distance all at once; you’d have to stop in France or Bruxelles, for example, and even walk around a bit, which wouldn’t be that bad.
In this satellite picture you can see a little bit of everything: the mountains, the shoreline, the city, my coast. If I pay attention and squeeze my eyes, I can see the raincoats all wet by the rain in Milan, and the condensation droplets on my barman friend’s shaker in Genoa, while he’s making an excellent Americano cocktail. I can see the small road among the peach trees, that road that takes to the great photographer’s house, which became a shelter for those who still believe in the big format. I see sheets of paper in Rome, stacks of sheets of paper in the TV station newsroom, and a soccer ball, so powerfully kicked it could challenge our bora*. In the South, somebody’s casting an horoscope while putting their kid to bed, somebody else is playing piano at 4 A.M. while smoking a cigarette. I can zoom as I wish from here, I can get to see the eye color of the person you’re talking to, but we all know this is not what we would call see… let’s rather say that I can see through my mind, starting from likely hypotheses of what’s real.
I’m imagining an image, hence a photography; it’s neither digital nor analog, for it’s made of a different substance: it’s made of thoughts.
“Ultimately, photography, which is what we do, is a kind of place to think about”
Guido says, and I suppose he means that doing photography reflects in the photograph itself and in the act of seeing, hence in the act of presenting as well. Or maybe he means that, after taking a photograph, we should sit on it as if it were a chair, and reflect, as if that were a comfortable place in which we could think about the world, or rather, as if it were the instrument through which we could think about it.
Otherwise we could just act like when we have to make a decision and… “I have to think about that”; and then it ends up with us forgetting about it and doing something else.
Well, I had said that you end up making life difficult for yourself with these things, I had said that; ultimately, I can say I haven’t written about Everyday_Italy’s pictures or Italy, or life in Italy, and I’m sure I’ll be spending the next five minutes thinking about it.
*bora: north-eastern wind.
Veronica Daltri / Everyday_Italy