Sunday, December 09, 2007

Fulvio Bortolozzo revisited

Earlier in the year I posted about Fulvio Bortolozzo. Today, Mrs. Deane linked to an interview with him on a new blog called Hippolyte Bayard (though I'm assuming the early inventor/practitioner of the medium and person who first invented and used the term "photography" isn't actually still around writing a blog...).

It's an interesting interview, and I also saw Bortolozzo has revamped his site with some new and interesting work.

Scene di passaggio (Soap Opera) has been greatly expanded since I last looked, but there is other work there as well.

The interview is in Italian, but luckily there is an English translation that follows:

"...Then I discovered in the Agorà Bookshop, in Turin, a book that really overwhelmed me: Kodachrome by Luigi Ghirri. Since then, even if slowly, I grew a need to focus all my energies on a personal research in photography...

...Yes, indeed the first period of Ghirri – Paesaggi di cartone, Topografia Iconografia, Atlante, for example— showed me the path to abandon the seduction for the pure form. He made me realise that form, even if fundamental, must also be ‘necessary’, a mean and not an end. The real end is always the idea becoming a vision, the stream of consciousness ignited by perception. The peculiar power of photography became then to my eyes that of transferring, dislocating perceptions over bi-dimensional surfaces which could become, by that single fact, thoughts over things, over life. A fantastic form of observation and knowledge...

.. (HB)Regarding Basilico, you made an interesting remark on the risks of placing our own grid (or more grids) over every place we intend to photograph, opposed to try to be ‘crossed’ by places, merging our own vision with the diversity of every place. You made
Shift:Bari in 2006. Did you have the chance to see Basilico’s work Bari0607?

(FB) I only saw like thirty images on the Internet, not enough to have a clear idea. I’d only say one thing about the differences in our respective approach towards the same places. I was already thinking about this while I was working on Olimpia in areas where he was working himself for the public commission that led to the exhibition Six for Turin.

Given for granted that Basilico is an indispensable reference for anyone who deals with urban landscape in Italy and that I got many useful suggestions by studying his work, I still believe our paths diverge right on the issue of the relationship with the urban space.

I think Basilico sees a town through the filter of a strong architectural knowledge, derived from Enlightenment and from modernism, constantly trying to find a reconciling order, even if only hypothetically.

For what concerns me, space is not only urban, it is first of all something holding potential perceptions: it is a scene. My aim is to personally experience the perceptive possibilities of a place and to try to bring them to space and time through an object, which is photography, which even if it might scatter most part, is able to keep a veritable trace.

My remark on the ‘visual grid’ that you mention is to be read in connection with another aspect of Basilico’s work: the repetition of a series of choices of composition, without substantial variations, applied to different contexts. A sort of universal and independent grid that, I think, holds a real risk of self-referentially." More here

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