Vision from another world
2000 Copies .
DAMIANI EDITORE - 2006
Vision from another world is the first book of Alessandro Rizzi, who perfected his art during his many travels throughout Europe and the Middle East. After having worked with reportage photography on Romanian miners and Palestinian refugees in the Lebanon, Alessandro Rizzi presents in the book his research on megalopolises of the world, from New York to Las Vegas, from London to Tokyo, from Beijing to Shanghai. Rizzi’s photographs seem images from another planet, as they narrate cities from a perspective far away from usual stereotypes. The other world emerging from Rizzi’s photos bypasses the accumulation of matter and chaos we are used to identify cities’ sprawling with, as they are invaded by millions of special effects lacerating our senses, and inhabited by subjects revealing a novel mystical vision of these places as temples of modern man.
Alessandro Rizzi has been involved in a major project since 2003: photographing many large cities in various parts of the world, with very different cultural habitats, in order to demonstrate that in the metropolis, urban architecture, street adv and contemporary life style, intangibly conditions the way in which people interrelate, their perception of their identity, and the mode in which they inhabit space.
This ambitious and difficult project was from the start a “work in progress” idea, necessarily divided into experiences in various cities, a project that will require a number of years for the development of the theme. In performing his work, Rizzi purposely chooses a relationship of non-belonging with the city.
He resides in each metropolis only for a brief period, two weeks at most. He explained that has never wanted to truly discover the places that he depicts in his photographs, and he prefers to leave before this happens. This style of work is a rapid transit that condenses his experiences and enables him to perceive styles of collective life before he absorbs them and himself becomes a part of them.
Up until today, he has photographed New York, Beijing, Shanghai, Las Vegas, Madrid, Berlin, Tokyo, London while the next locations will be , Bangalor and Bombay.
The idea arose from the concept of the metropolis as a container for stories, a stage on which people act out their dramas.
The city space suggests, and sometimes dictates, styles of interaction with the metropolis and with people.
This idea was based on his observations of the city made during other projects. New York, the first stage, confirmed his idea, showing that the city expresses different types of behaviour, linked to different structures of urban space.
This city, the quintessential metropolis, functions like a large mechanism based on a series of blocks. It becomes active from the early hours, and, within it, every individual responds with his own attitudes, while remaining part of the same theatrical scene. Faced with this performance - in which the city becomes a sort of hyper-reality - Rizzi takes the place of the audience.
He doesn’t try to fit in, and on the contrary, prefers to remain alienated, on the threshold of that movement which exploits a loss of identity to produce a new definition of the same. In the metropolis, this occurs during a process of disorientation: individual frontiers are redrawn by the urban and collective scenario.
Alessandro Rizzi also records the speed of large cities. They take the form of locations that exist purely for the present and the future, in which time destroys everything year by year, transforming their space and perspective. The provinces (Rizzi is familiar with this dimension, as he was born and grew up in the Emilia region), on the other hand, privilege the past.
Everything is presented simply and directly, and it is possible to live while totally conserving memories and roots. Things change only slowly, and resist the onrush of time. In the metropolis, the change of scene is rapid. Existence, like that of a growing person, takes the form of a rapid succession of stages, achieving a loss of identity, from which one can define a new identity.
Shanghai was the city that the photographer loved the most.
For the coexistence of many different faces, the fascination of a modern metropolis that is growing tumultuously, apparently without an overall city plan. It is a city in which all contrasts, though visible, are a part of the overall choral depiction.
Having seen the premises and the results of a project that asks for nothing more than to be extended to other locations, one hopes that Rizzi’s work continues in this way, showing us the urban faces of the contemporary world.