Lago Film Fest sheds its skin, heading towards the summer of its fourteenth edition.
But winter has left behind some shards, and arranged them in strange shapes: random piles, perhaps silent monuments to the friable substance of time. Who was it? Does it matter? All the stages of an incomplete photographic investigation, carried out alongside slowphoto.studio. Amidst abandoned nests, test-tube seaside scenes, and a past that threatens not to leave.
A while ago, someone told me that nostalgia is a man's best friend.
It's easy to see why: nostalgia feeds itself on our past, and has no use for our sense of wonder about the future. Curiosity, or the intent to discover who and why and where we are: idiocy, plain and simple. When you're walking on a rope bridge, you don't want to be reminded of your whereabouts.
I'll place a series of pictures here.
They shall be read as the stages of an unfinished investigation, sightings of phenomena that took place on the western side of Revine Lago over the past winter.*
They look like piles, interlocks, deramifications: some recall nests, others, home interiors reconstructed outdoors. Nothing looks haphazard, everything is clearly arranged with love, and all of the impartial, psychotic care that most of us lose as we drift out of childhood. Childhood: the golden age when a marble is as precious as a parent. I laid in wait for two weeks: the most significant manifestations took place at twilight and during the night.
I'm asked to name who or what is responsible for this. That is not my priority.
I'm interested in the moon, not the finger. What kind of moon do they point to, these piles of stuff and shiny objects, these unwitting sculptures? An ancient moon; a summer moon. An obsession for Lago Film Fest and its past editions is beyond doubt: I identified pages from old catalogues, expired passes, fragments of past sets eaten up by water. At times, they're just plain objects linked to swimming or camping - pool floats, broken oars, sun umbrellas - as if the task was to recreate Beach Party from memory, what a great film, such simplicity, it's what we need right now, if only we could bear it. It's my third day here and I can smell sunscreen: I remind myself it's January and proceed, handkerchief pressed firmly on my nose. When I think about it, Beach Party wasn't really a masterpiece.*
Lago Film Fest
Start discovering it here.
Finally, I owe a big thank you to slowphoto.studio and Enrico Donadello. For their cooperation in this fruitless investigation; for taking the pictures that ended up becoming the promotional campaign for Lago Film Fest's fourteenth edition; for holding my legs still while I sang Surfing USA in a seizure. Over to them.
We chose to follow a process that would respect the stages and ways in which we photograph. Scheduling and planning the sets in the weeks leading to the shoot allowed us to work with a view camera on large format, a pleasure we're too often denied in our work. Looking through the ground glass let us study the framing with more care and attention.
Each set was prepared several hours - if not weeks - ahead of the shoot, so that when the light turned exactly as we'd imagined it, we would be ready to capture it, film holders loaded and light meter at hand. The instant following the click is just like the one before you turn eighteen: you expect something will happen but no, you must put away the film and wait for it to develop.
We developed the sheet films in the days that followed the shoot, as we wiped away the mud of the lake from all the props. It was all downhill from there: we switched back on our computers and scanners and moved onto postproduction. Enough with chemicals and film, enough with analog romanticism, enough with the Beach Boys and Sixties surf pop.