“It’s not down on any map, true places never are.” (Moby Dick, Herman Melville)

Over the course of the last four years, Italian photographer Matteo Di Giovanni has published three photo books: “I wish the world was even” (2019), “Blue Bar” (2020) and “I had to shed my skin” (2022). The exhibition presents a selection of prints from all three bodies of work. All three projects are studies of landscapes and all three are based on road trips: “The road trip is an important aspect in my photography. I’m not only attracted to lines, shapes and structures, but much more to anthropological, sociological and philosophical issues and this is where my interest for the interaction between people and landscape comes from, even if people are rarely present in my photographs”, explains Matteo Di Giovanni.

“I wish the world was even”, describes a two-month journey from Milan to the North Pole, cutting through Europe vertically. “Blue Bar” is a study of the River Po, the 652 km stretch of water that cuts Italy into two parts, geographically and culturally. And the images in “I had to shed my skin” were taken in and around Pescara, a small coastal town on the Adriatic Sea in Central Italy where Matteo Di Giovanni was born. However, what connects all three series is a lack of geographical connotation: “These images really are not a description of a place!”, says Di Giovanni. “The work really is about an aesthetic and lyrical metaphor for a human state, made of suspension and symbolic connections between images.” And: “Ultimately, the work deals with home, roots and the idea of belonging to a place that you don’t really feel connected to. But it’s also about youth, love, loss, discomfort and a change of perception.”

Matteo Di Giovanni, born in 1980, received an MA in Documentary Photography from the University of Westminster, London, in 2012. So far, he has published three monographs in a “loose trilogy”: “I wish the world was even” (2019), “Blue Bar” (2020) and “I had to shed my skin” (2022), all published by Artphilein Editions, Lugano. A new monograph titled “True Places Never Are”, edited by David Campany, is in preparation for publication next year. The work of Matteo Di Giovanni is exhibited internationally. He lives and works in Milan, Italy.

To learn more, please also read the in-depth conversation between Matteo Di Giovanni and Robert Morat that was published on ASX.

– Press release DE / EN

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