Matera will be the European Capital of Culture 2019, together with the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. Matera is in the South of Italy, in a region hidden in the middle of the Appenini but bathed by two seas: Lucania (or Basilicata).
Matera is the city where my mother was born and lived before marrying and where I spent most of my summers when I was young. Matera for me: has the flavor of freshly whipped cream in small waffles, which my grandmother left in the morning on the kitchen table; it smells like grandmother’s wardrobes, full of little treasures; is the “siesta” time that helped to endure the summer heat; are the games invented with my brothers and my cousins; it is the spying of people walking behind the green wooden venetian blinds; is the swallows chirping when the heat gave a small respite; it is the gossip of women (for me all strange and even surrealistic) who went to my grandmother’s house, all coming with their hearts in their throats, forced as they were to climb a flight of stairs worthy of an ascent.Matera are “the Sassi” in all their splendor, when no one still considers them; when the children could play inside and hide in secret, in abandoned houses; when “iMaterani” themselves considered them a shame that it was convenient to hide.
There is a huge contrast between the current Matera and the intimate one that I carry in my heart. However, this contrast, instead of provoking a bitter nostalgia or anger for having been robbed of so much beauty that was only mine, generates in myself a dimensional duplicity: on one side there is the Matera of the tourists who are crowded on the viewpoints on the Sassi and that they roam the city in the hours of greatest heat, waving with anything and sweating what they have just finished drinking; on the other side there is myself that I abstract of all the previous and float in my inner world that leads me to the places of my childhood, in search of the smells of the past and the light that continues to be the same: strong, clear, Mediterranean. Guided by these feelings, I walk and take pictures, I look for hidden corners and take pictures, I find silence and take pictures.
The images I am proposing are the result of this lonely going in the midst of the multitude and the subsequent, intimate development work, which allowed me to align memories and reality photographed and consequently to find an approach and a strategy of development of the images made, to offer you a perspective of visual reading. The combination of all the elements described above, have made me decant for pure black and white (CieliNeri series) or with a light blue color change (Ricordi e Presente series) and to give the sky its protagonist role, so that it could give it back to the urban landscape.In Ricordi e Presente series, the sky is dark and the clouds are the protagonists and act as a counterpoint to the striking white of the houses. In CieliNeri series, the sky is absent to give the maximum protagonism to the landscape. The city that sleeps seems to be frozen by strong and unexpected light.
This is the Matera that I present to those who can appreciate the hidden and non-trivial beauty; to those who does not stop only to take a selfie, but who is also interested in the history of the place; to those who have a village in their heart and keep it as a treasure in adulthood.
I invite you to visit the link to my blog, in which you can see the whole set of images composing the two series. If you are interested in any of the images or if you want to contact me, use one of the following possibilities: