Eyes on the Street, a new f/50 The International Photography Collective photo project with fellows Keith Goldstein and John Meehan. ENJOY!
SEE: Eyes on the Street!
Three plastic men skaters (by ToyBoarders Skateboarders) run around the house: from the fridge to the terrace they challenge gravity. (Shots by FujiFIlm X30)
Each of us has dreamed once as a child of being an astronaut. Years after those reveries, a typical reading lamp from the Seventies and a rubber action figure bring back the childish dream. My FujiFilm X30 did the rest. The sidereal space is now ready to be conquered…
Genoa, December 20, 2018: a whole day dedicated to a photo project. Subject: the collapsed Morandi Bridge. I was in town with a friend, creative designer Federico Ramponi. Guiding us via WhatsApp, the Genoese La7 journalist Paolo Colombo, who suggested most of the places we shot from.
With these 29 b&w shots, I want to play the sense of movement of pain and loss against the granitic immobility that dominates the ghost neighborhood’s streets and buildings under the bridge.
I tried to narrate the neighborhood with its bridge from different angles. The hills around the Polcevera stream have proved excellent observation points and allowed me to have a wider and more complete view of the disaster.
Once at home I realized that my shots possessed a sort of camouflage ability: while I was shooting, I continued unconsciously to see the bridge still intact in front of my camera. The horizon, the electric cables, the houses and the neighborhood with its silent architectural geometries have become substitutes for the missing section of the Morandi Bridge.
The original idea for this photo project was to go looking for Jack London’s traces/footprints in the East End area – London visited the East End ‘hoods in the early twentieth century (see The People of the Abyss, 1903). Topography excepted, nothing remains of that early XXth century London.
Starting from the area of the docks and the London Docklands Museum (immortalized in the first two shots) I pursued my research in Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Whitechapel; very soon an initial disappointment was superseded by the curiosity for the “punk” scenarios/scenes that opened up in front of the lens (I shot with FujiFilm X30 and Fuji X100).
Maintaining a historic storytelling, I physically abandoned the first decade of the Twentieth Century and pushed myself closer, towards the present days. So, I discovered the disciples of Banksy (they could be disciples or… might very well be Mr. Banksy himself operating under new pseudonyms), along with melting pot scenes and punk/street attitude.
No Jack London traces were found, but I consider the famous American writer guided me in a subliminal way during a three-days photo walk. Without sinking into the abyss as he did – at the time, Jack London lived eighty days in the slums with the poorest people in London – I pushed myself beyond “the easy job” and I started to collect photos that interacted with each other (in pairs), turning the visual sketches into a document. Each couple of frames is a single voice in a wider story where social and architectural geometries blend or merge into each other.
London, late January 2019
There have been so many ways to narrate migrations. In the last century photography has recorded the stories of those people forced to abandon their lands of origin – because of war, globalization, famine etc. etc. The project of friend photographer Nino Romeo does not focus on people’s faces – the chosen solution by the press and the media – but he prefers to “interrogate” objects that were washed up or abandoned on the beaches. In 2016 Romeo turns up with his camera, a Nikon Coolpix P7800, on the iconic beaches and bays of Capo Teulada, South-west Sardinia, in the places where a landing occurred. Shoes, t-shirts, plastic bottles now faded by the Mediterranean sun seem to have become part of the local wilderness: there is a delicate sense of continuity between the human need/urgency to migrate and Mother Nature’s unchanging and apolitical welcome. Nino Romeo does not judge what he sees; but his twenty color frames launch a cry of alarm to civil society.
NINO ROMEO, Droit au but. Io nato in occidente/Uccidente e i fratelli migranti nati nel mondo di sotto, Abnormal Edizioni 2018
Photos: © Nino Romeo