Suburban base

This ongoing project is based on a visual exploration of my local suburbs (Monza/Milan, Northern Italy), with the main goal of isolating and highlighting the feelings of composure, isolation, suspendness and at the same time, unexpected beauty, dignity and serendipity that these types of areas can evoke. I try to keep the images as much universally accessible and relatable as possible by decontextualising shapes and spaces and offering a representation of spaces and places ideally applicable to any, or most of suburban-industrial environments of the Western society – by this I mean for example avoiding as much as I can any local reference (names, people, emblems - unless they are universally recognizable). Reflecting about these peculiarities and this “found beauty” theme leads ideally to a broader reflection on both the recurring architectural and functional patterns that are present in towns and cities, and the cultural models and stereotypes that shape people’s perception of their urban environment. I believe that art and photography in particular can act as a powerful medium to challenge and resist to all of this, precisely by representing and interpreting the suburban and industrial places with an unbiased , more curious and more gentle set of eyes, turning the spotlights on unexpected corners and areas, to show how it’s just really enough to “open” and exercise your eyes to interpret spaces and form your very personal “urban plan” in contrast to, and “overruling” the existing ones.

On a second, more personal level, this project also started as a personal exploration of "my" places, the places in which I was born and grew up, in a constant effort to see them with new or different eyes. I have a very close and affectionate relationship with my environment, so I find this exercise artistically inspiring, and somehow therapeutic as well. In fact, "me" approaching photography for the first time in my life in early 2019 - and quite out of the blue, actually - coincided with "me" coming back home after a few years living in another city. This was not clear for me since the beginning, but thinking about it and thinking about why I kept being drawn to "my places" as in a sort of closed maze which keeps you gravitating around the same center, I realised that I felt a need to build a new relationship with my hometown and accept the fact that I lost the one I had, instead of desperately trying to find it again. Or, in other words, to re-interpret it and give a new order and a new meaning to the places in order to do the same with my life itself. And photography turned out to be, maybe, the best companion for that.

(click to enlarge)

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