Fabrizio Albertini was born in 1984, lives on Lake Maggiore (Italy), graduated in Film direction and Production at the Conservatorio Internazionale Scienze Audiovisive in Lugano (Swiss). During the years of study he realized several shortmovies selected, among the others festival, at International Locarno Film Festival and Solothurner Filmtage.

We met again Fabrizio Albertini to talk about his new series called “Radici” (Roots). (see the previous publication)

Radici is a physical memory, the mark of time. Radici is the constant urge to survive, to expand, to leave a trace, it is the legacy of our past and the elaboration of our present. Radici is something that grows underground, something that belongs to nature, and to nature it will return.

Giangiacomo Cirla: Hi Fabrizio, we are happy to talk with you about “Radici” (roots), could you tell us something about this new project? “Radici” as well as your previous series “Diary of an italian borderworker” has a strong autobiographical connotation from which it seems that you start to examine wider and universal concepts; in this case what are the examined aspects? 

Fabrizio Albertini: Radici is a project linked to a memory, a place, Val Cannobina. I’ve a special connection with this valley, a memory that goes back to experiences and childhood conflicts. In this vallery lived my grandparents, my mother grew up and I spent my summers, my holidays. Today the vallery is an almost entirely abandoned territory.  Radici take shape from this landscape: from diluted memories and unconscious themes, childhood and growt; Radici is the elaboration of buried traces,where the success, in terms of life, depends on the ability to maintain a form or be deformed.  Radici is the more intimate photographic series with whom I’ve ever compared. Radici isn’t the answer to a specify weight of a memory, but rather its path.
Just like a root, a “physical memory”.

GC: The places where you grew up appear to be fundamental in the narrative of your projects, which peculiarities they have? and why they are so important in your work?

FA: I feel a strong connection with this landscape, both from an emotional and creative point of wiew. A double bond to be more precise. It’s a rich  place, comfortable and friendly but at the same time wild and isolated. It’s a relationship that is reflected in my work, in the atmospheres I try to tell. Simple as that may sound know a territory, have it available, it’s crucial. From a photographic and cinematic point of view this is a little talked landscape: don’t have a reference, or a previous image, is an help as well as research inducement.

GC: One of the aspects of the project is the study of the relationship between man and nature, How this dichotomy affects your work and to what extent?

FA: The relationship between Man and Nature has declined on a purely symbolic level. I started from Cannobina Valley, a valley that is now mostly abandoned. In this landscape, where nature is clearly takes its space, I found that symbolic theme I was looking for as a Language for Radici.

GC: I find very interesting the temporal dialogue between images that appear from the past and others absolutely contemporary, could you talk about this relationship?

FA: The memory of the female figure is central to “Radici”, hence the urgency of this project is born. In “Radici” there aren’t photographs depicting  women unless they emerce from the past, through archival photographs. They are the root, both in memory and in the series. The pictures taken, documentary and contemporary are the attempt to give substance to the path of these memories and conflicts that they generate or have generated. A constant struggle to keep it shape.

GC: Differently from other artists you aren’t tied to well-defined genres and you can range a lot from portraits to landscapes, from color to black and white photographs, where this volition comes from?

FA: I try to give priority to writing. I like the idea of being able to face a new project leaving me open to every opportunity to adapt my language to the story I’m telling. I believe in coherence  within a series but I also believe in the ability to change and contradict. I am also referring to cinema or the cinematic genre, where every story can potentially become an opportunity for a director to reinvent himself.

GC: How do you develop your work process?

FA: I started with a subject, or maybe, I begin with a feeling. It is never a clear and definite plan. I work very instinctively. I need to make a mistakes, run a void and not bring home anything. After a first study period I begin to collect images that “for some reason” surprise me. “For some reason” is my work process, unconscious but not at all casual. I believe a lot In this kind of work and reasoning, for me surely more consistent, conscious and rich than to a conscious and organized approach.

GC: How much your film direction studies are reflected in the setting and performance of your work?

FA: I started to dedicate myself to photography at the end of my degree in Film Direction. At that time I felt the need for a different relationship with the “scene”, a relationship that was not mediated by a structured production process like the Audiovisual. However, I wanted to keep some personal “headlines”, a bridge between cinema and photography. Among them the definition of genre, the approach of documentary, montage, writing and the word of entertainment. During the years of study I had the opportunity to confront, in a specialized way, with the various moments of audiovisual production: writing, directing, photography / shooting, editing, sound. This “Specialized training” was very important: it offered me a confidence with the technique that allowed me to feel more free.

GC: What affect your photography?

FA: Cinema, as a framing, in the method and approach to the scene; the distance, which often varies in every project and, of course, the means with which  I photograph. It is important for me to be able to move a lot quickly, especially compared to the space I decided to “investigate”. I have a relatively short autonomy, and attention, in the single “photographic session”.

GC: Who are your favorite Artists / Photographers right now?

FA: Delaney Allen, Daniel Shea, Federico Clavarino, Heikki Kaski, Florian Van Roekel

GC: You’ve recently made a book about the “Diary of an Italian borderworker” series published by Skinnerboox, what is your relationship with this medium and what is your opinion about the ever-growing desire to convey the work through publications?

FA: About the idea of ​​communicating his work through the photobook I personally have two contrasting opinions: on the one hand optimistic because the book is a tool to anyone’s reach, with an authorial value as well as a commercial potential; On the other hand, I am also skeptical at the time when we are confronted with a public demand, which really is not there. The risk is a potential self-referential or ineffective publications. Maybe not more products should be created to create a real market, or perhaps they should be less productive for better selection and distribution.

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