Massimo Vitali – Panorama Monopoli

Panorama Monopoli, organized in 2022 by Italics, was a four-day festival, curated by Vincenzo De Bellis, inspired by the ancient Greek concept of xenia, that of hospitality to the foreigner, a ritualised friendship based on reciprocity.

There is a centuries-old tradition in the ancient port town of Monopoli: every September 1, locals gather at dawn at Cala di Porta Vecchia to bathe in the sea, in a bid for a winter of good health. No one really knows the source of the tradition. This year, the collective swim was captured by Massimo Vitali, and it kick-started the second edition of Panorama in Monopoli.

Massimo Vitali, b. 1944
Monopoli Sunrise, 2022
Inkjet print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
150 x 200 cm - - 59 x 78 3/4 in
Massimo Vitali, b. 1944
Monopoli Flash, 2022
Inkjet print in Diasec mount with wooden frame
90 x 120 cm - - 35 3/8 x 47 1/4 in
© Piero Percoco , Mirko Ostuni. Courtesy ITALICS, Mazzoleni and the artist

I usually don’t photograph at sunset or sunrise as i am not a fan of the golden hour, but I welcomed the opportunity of this shoot with a strong curiosity. I must say that it far exceeded expectations and i am very happy with how it turned out. I am particularly pleased with Monopoli sunrise, where water occupies the majority of the scene, and is punctuated by small bodies immersed in it. It really shows how powerful this event was: the seemingly disconnected people are part of the same large scene and water becomes the element par excellence that purifies and unifies.