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Massimo Vitali

December 11, 2020February 13, 2021

MASSIMO VITALI. NEW NORMAL 2020

Press release

2020 marks the 25th year anniversary of the beginning of the Spiagge (beaches) series, a long photographic narrative through which Massimo Vitali studies contemporary society and our way of connecting. On this occasion the Museo Ettore Fico in Turin, in collaboration with Mazzoleni, dedicates to the artist the retrospective Massimo Vitali. Human Constellations. The exhibition consists of 30 large-scale works that record with incredible sharpness, people gatherings on beaches, clubs, mountains and sand dunes.

The exhibition, which should have opened just before the spring lockdown, remained closed to the public for 7 months. Paradoxically, upon the reopening in September, the viewer came face to face with a series of works depicting the world of yesterday, in which crowds anachronistically gather, dance or enjoy moments of leisure. Considered entirely normal until recently, it now seems unfathomable and a far distant memory to see masses of non-distanced people enjoying a carefree moment.

Massimo Vitali

De Haan Kiss, 2001

Edition of 9 plus 2 AP
Lightjet print on photographic paper from drum scan of original negative - Diasec Mount with wooden frame
151 x 189 cm
59 1/2 x 74 3/8 in

Massimo Vitali

Piscina das Mares Leça de Palmeira Left, 2016

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
C-Print
187 x 247 cm
73 5/8 x 97 1/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Plage des Catalans Green Turtle, 2017

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Lightjet print from original digital file on photographic paper - Diasec with wooden frame
181.5 x 242 cm
71 1/2 x 95 1/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Plage de l'Estaque, 2017

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Lightjet print from original digital file on photographic paper - Diasec with wooden frame
242 x 181.5 cm
95 1/4 x 71 1/2 in

Massimo Vitali

Friche de la Belle de Mai On Air, 2017

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Lightjet print from original digital file on photographic paper - Diasec mount with wooden frame
181.5 x 242 cm
71 1/2 x 95 1/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Kappa Futur Festival, 2018

Edition of 6 plus 2AP
C-Print
187 x 247 cm
73 5/8 x 97 1/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Jova Beach Party Pink, 2019

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Lightjet print from original digital file on photographic paper - Diasec mount with wooden frame
181.5 x 242 cm
71 1/2 x 95 1/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Cefalù Orange Yellow Blue, 2008

Edition of 6 plus 2AP
Lightjet print on photographic paper from drum scan of original negative - Diasec mount with wooden frame
180 x 228 cm
70 7/8 x 89 3/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Carcavelos Pier Paddle, 2016

Edition of 6 plus 2AP
Lightjet print from original digital file on photographic paper - Diasec mount with wooden frame
181.5 x 242 cm
71 1/2 x 95 1/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Ponta dos Mosteiros Dark, 2018

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Lightjet print from original digital file on photographic paper - Diasec with wooden frame
187 x 247 cm
73 5/8 x 97 1/4 in

At the end of May 2020, after three months of strict lockdown, Vitali has gone back to the Italian shores to discover how the long period of suffering, uncertainty and the new social distance measures would affect the Italian habits on vacation. Just as in 1994 the desire to conduct a sociological survey had given rise to the beaches series, a quarter of a century later the photographer returned to his privileged observation spot to discover how the vacation lifestyle of Italians has changed in such an atypical summer.

Massimo Vitali

Foce del Serchio couples, 2020

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Latex print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
200 x 250 cm
78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in

Also available
Inkjet print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
150 x 190 cm
59 1/8 x 74 3/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Marina di Massa capannina bianca - Vogue hope, 2020

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Latex print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
200 x 250 cm
78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in

Also available
Inkjet print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
150 x 190 cm
59 1/8 x 74 3/4 in

The first photographs taken at the beginning of the so called “Second Phase”, like Foce del Serchio Couples and Marina di Massa Capannina Bianca – Vogue Hope are very far from the abundant vitality that enlivened Vitali’s well-known images of people milling about like miniature dots along the shoreline. The few people on the beach in the very first days of the newfound freedom are portrayed in Tuscan spots very close to the artist’s city of Lucca. Due to the initial restrictions to travel to other regions people are moving timidly or laying under the sun in small and distant groups.
In these overexposed photos, the geometry of the bodies are in perfect harmony with the openness of the natural landscape. Like in Renaissance painting, an equilibrium dominates the composition, a balance between sky, sea and earth, between landscape and people, between the colours of nature and those of towels and umbrellas.

Travelling limitations and a widespread caution led most of the Italian population to avoid holidays abroad and brought to a re-discovery of their own country, less crowded with tourists this year. Vitali went back to the origins, shooting again in Rosignano – after his first beach photographs in the Nineties and later in the Twenties. With the passing of years, the issues of environmental pollution that had marked the previous photographs of Rosignano, make way for a closer attention to the changes in our society. Rosignano Solvay Muti-ethnic showing kids and adults of different ethnicities and religions recounts the beach as a free place where social inclusion is fully achieved.

Massimo Vitali

Rosignano Fins, 1995

Edition of 9 plus 2 AP
Lightjet print on photographic paper from drum scan of original negative - Diasec Mount with wooden frame
180 x 228.5 cm
70 7/8 x 90 in

Massimo Vitali

Rosignano Multi-Ethnic, 2020

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Latex print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
200 x 250 cm
78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in

Also available
Inkjet print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
150 x 190 cm
59 1/8 x 74 3/4 in

With time, Vitali’s photographs testify of the tension in people’s behavior. A more carefree, relaxed attitude emerges from the shot of the Apulian site of the Chidro River (Chidro Esse), and the glorious fullness of Italianness explodes in the turquoise waters of Marina di Massa (Marina di Massa Pontile dell’Amore Italy) as well as in the rocky Manarola (Manarola Paranco). The artist’s watchful eye keeps the usual distance and view point from above creating images, that are very detailed and portraying a deeply empathetic humanity.
Every image has different layers, in terms of composition -a geometry scattered with elements, “human constellations” –in a social and anthropological way. It is a succession of microcosms, small stories that are all different and unique.

Now, of course, the main interest lies in the fact that we just came out of the lockdown and so it’s strange to see how people interact. This is something that only happens once every century so it’s a fantastic possibility for shooting things that are different from what you’d shoot normally.

Massimo Vitali, ODDA issue 19 "You, Me, And Everyone We Know", 2020

Massimo Vitali

Chidro Esse Manduria, 2020

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Latex print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
200 x 250 cm
78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in

Also available
Inkjet print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
150 x 190 cm
59 1/8 x 74 3/4 in

Massimo Vitali

Marina di Massa pontile dell’amore Italia , 2020

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Latex print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
200 x 250 cm
78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in

Also available
Inkjet print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
150 x 190 cm
59 1/8 x 74 3/4 in

If you have an interest in it then you can start studying it and it is in a way a collaboration between me and the people looking at the picture. You have to be engaged. The viewer has to work a bit!

Massimo Vitali interviewed by Present magazine, 2020

Massimo Vitali

Manarola Paranco, 2020

Edition of 6 plus 2 AP
Latex print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
200 x 250 cm
78 3/4 x 98 3/8 in

Also available
Inkjet print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
150 x 190 cm
59 1/8 x 74 3/4 in
Cover image: Back to work!, photo by Nicola Gnesi

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Press release