I have always lived in big cities, now I live surrounded by nature in a small medieval village located in one of the largest park in Sicily. The seasons pass slowly, but if you have a scrupuluos eye they are clearly visible: the color of the leaves, the return of the birds, the north wind, the time of the wheat and that one of the harvest.
My approach to photography, through the ancient technique of wet plate collodion, reflects the slowness of the place where I live. I like getting lost in the silence of nature, photographing its forms: olive trees, with gnarled trunks amd flexible branches, tireless observers of the human generations that follow one another.
I also love making portraits: the tension that is created between my eye and the subject in front of me turns into a unique and unrepeatable plate. I have been given back my time trough the manual skills that the photographic technique imposes. The process necessary for the realization of a photographic image coincides with its journey towards immortality: the instant portrait exceeds time and survives to the experience.
We cannot preserve the memory of each of the images that crowd our lives, images are no longer printed and they live in a parallel universe, appearing and disappearing with a gesture. This is the society of the image: “If at the beginning there was the verb, in the end there will be only images” said Wim Wenders, and perhaps he was not wrong. What I choose to photograph and transpose onto a plate becomes a testimony of the existence of something, perhaps even of time.
In the past people lived with few images that they kept for their entire lives and they left those to their children as a testimony of their existence. The photographic process that I practice reappropriates the lost materiality.
Dry collodion negative Workshop at my laboratory organized in partnership with Eastman Museum of New York