Throughout all the cities I have photographed in these last years I have started to see a common thread.
First of all what has struck me is how entire residential areas gravitated around shopping malls, all of them nearly identical to each other, creating in this way a limitless city: colorless living quarters dotted with focal points dedicated to consuming, which have sprung up in suburban areas surrounded by motorway junctions. All the shopping malls are distinguished by huge dimensions and their architectural style, which vanishes to give space to the overpowering advertising bill boards that provide colour, decorate and dress up the space. They could become new meeting and focal points like many agorà that swapped places with the various historical centres to move to the numerous suburban areas, if it wasn’t for the fact that, when you are in there, you are no longer considered a citizen but simply a consumer of goods and entertainment.
Even the residential dwellings, as well as the office blocks, have changed their architectural structures in such a way as to make them appear the same in all the cities I photographed. The heavy, oppressive, compact residential blocks of these horizontal cities snake out into a claustrophobic space, dotted with empty squares whose only function is to provide a thoroughfare, no longer a crossways of streets, activity, people. The uniformity and modularity of their facades don’t allow you from the outside to identify the different living units and every window looks more like a cell reminding us a prison or an impenetrable bunker.
the text continues after the image gallery…
The public buildings, on the other hand, present weightless elements like mirrorring glass able to play with the transparencies: agile structures that challenge heights and volumes otherwise heavy and impending, and that reflect all around the opposite buildings, borrowing the colours from the sky, the sun, the clouds. However, also these transparent hulls made of crystal appear, once more, as wraps deprived of their own life. The absence of walls intercalated by windows, once acting as a medium from the inside to the outside, make them look like many mysterious spaceships whose beauty protects their inside from any external investigation. And there I have met traces of human presence showing their own sign in the shape of murals, wall painting, or simple anonymous writings acting as real icons, able to characterize otherwise identical places. Overlapping with institutional signs and advertisement, or sharing the same space, they mark and delimit them, conferring to the place the dignity of lived-through, branded, urbanized sites. It is this spacial fragmentation what mainly amazed me whilst I was getting lost in these cities; a fragmentation modifying our lives and the way we relate each other, thus reflecting into social relationship. I could not therefore narrate photographically the current urban landscape as a continuum relating to the ideal of united city, that no longer exists; rather I reconstruct places and spaces lining up the thousand fragments giving life to my shots.