| Paolo Valassi |
If you could be anything right now, what would you be?
A place in the world. Today: Monument Valley.
Which book are you reading?
I’m reading “Testimone inconsapevole” by Gianrico Carofiglio.
Which photographer is teaching you something?
Luigi Ghirri, Mario Giacomelli, Ernst Haas, William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Harry Gruyaert… I could continue.
Are you working on a particular project right now? Can you tell us something about it?
I have recently ended a project which I worked on for one year called “Viaggio in Italia”. It started thanks to Francesco Jodice and Fondazione Fotografia – Modena. 30 years later the revolutionary book “Viaggio in Italia” published in 1984 by a bunch of photographers led by Luigi Ghirri, we wanted to take a new look to the Italian reality. I decided to describe the contemporary Italy through the TV.
At the present time I’m working on a project called “Indagine sulla realtà”, started thanks to discussions I had with Vincenzo Castella (one of the photographers of the original “Viaggio in Italia”) and located in the Emilia Romagna area hit by the earthquake in 2012.
“Naufragi”: is it an ongoing project or did you finished it? How did it start?
Naufragi is a complete project (it is composed by around 30 images). I started it in 2008, initially inspired by a passage of Oceano mare, by Alessandro Baricco:
“Se c’è un luogo, al mondo, in cui puoi pensare di essere nulla, quel luogo è qui.
Non è più terra, non è ancora mare.
Non è vita falsa, non è vita vera.
Tempo che passa.
At a later stage I received some suggestion from the Coney Island project by Martin Parr, from the aerial pictures taken by Mario Giacomelli and finally from a sentence by Walter Benjamin who said, about Eugène Atget: “His pictures of Paris streets seem the scene of a crime”.
Where do you use to find inspiration? Movies, books, real life events…
About inspiration, there is not a fixed rule. Sometimes is a book, sometimes it comes from the discussion with some other photographers/friends. Sometimes Sergio Leone, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese “visit” me.
Other times I simply take pictures. And as Ghirri taught to millions of photographers, a unique and coherent project can clearly appear after having seen the images taken along the years.
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