Just a few days away from the official publication and first presentation (the 26th of September at the Pinacoteca Comunale in Città di Castello) of the photo book Going slowly, we met its author, the Città di Castello-born Stefano Giogli. We talked with him for a half an hour, very stimulating, active and ready to tell about himself. During the conversation many topics came up which were tied to photography and the book obviously (this work was also chosen for the International Festival in Rome), but then about everything around him.
By Marco Polchi
Stefano, for a start: how did your passion for photography begin?
«It started when I was twenty, in 1985, when I participated in a photography course for the first time. From there, after the first intensive months of photos, there was a break, even though I kept on making postcards to tell about my trips around the world, starting from Greece on a Vespa ».
«Then I began doing photography more seriously in 2000, with another vision, much wider and deeper than photography, going to shows of other authors, festivals and taking ideas from films like those by Antonioni. All of this allowed me to have a better understanding of photography, plan out a project and find the freedom to take pictures inside of a specific story».
After various shows and projects, now is the time for a book…
«Yes, but I don’t see it as the end of something. Rather I feel that it’s a starting point. I am happy when I am able to see with new eyes and new prospectives, more than when someone tells me that I took a beautiful photo».
With the title Going Slowly, what do you want to communicate?
«I would like to relay an idea of slowness, going slowly, I manage to do this only with photography, with it I lose all conception of time, I am able to reflect and I try to understand what is around me. The idea for this came from a road sign near Citta di Castello on which it is written: “Go slowly”».
You have always taken pictures of people especially – we remember the series L’unico ad essere diverso eri Tu (the only different one was you -shown in Spain as well) and A tavola (at the table), but now you have moved on to landscapes. Is this an evolution?
«It’s about a kind of interior need, to research, about a path I took that has made me fascinated in the last few years by a kind of photography that I had never studied or approached, the one without people, that in appearances has nothing. In error I was tied to a stereotypic landscape, naturally beautiful, when instead I discovered the richness of the contemporary landscape».
Who has inspired you in this new phase that later you brought to the book?
«I was inspired by many examples tied to America, from Robert Adams to Lewis Baltz, where the landscape is often immense and not always approachable, but even from painters of the 400s, like Bellini and Piero della Francesca, from whom I took elements, lines, hidden figures which give balance to the image ».
Who do you want to speak to with this work?
«It is not an easy book to understand, the base of the project is pretty complex, but I believe that there is a general poetic note that can touch people and be shared with many. It is addressed to everyone but it is necessary to stop a minute and think, read the texts- for which I thank Giovanna Calvenzi, an important photographic critic, and also the wife of the great Gabriele Basilico who passed last year and Paola Rondini, lingering on the colours: going slowly, indeed».
Have you got something in mind for Città di Castello?
«Yes, and it is something tied to the landscape, as always, done ad hoc, but I can’t say anything else! ».