Stefano Mattia’s turn.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am basically an indecisive person. I am not really sure what to expect from life neither the best way to face it. I have cultured many passions, among which music, literature and creative writing. However, today I am left with nothing, a cemetery of interests. Surprisingly my relationship with photography turned to be different from all the other passions of mine. I began taking pictures when I went working abroad so that I could send some pictures home. This simple act of taking pictures for family members turned into something much stronger, something that I yet cannot understand. To me photography is like a emotional catalyst, that has allowed me to get to know myself better and to be myself.
Why did you choose analog photography?
I consider analog photography the best way to represent the imperfection of humanity. Pictures on film are the interpretation of reality rather than the actual reproduction of reality. This is further see with the chromatic transitions of the Portra NC and the pointy style and charm of the Tri-X 400. Analog photography carries a form of chaos, this means that since you have a limited number of shots you must visualize what you are going to photograph before snapping. You must know how to deal with light and its surroundings.
What do you like to photograph?
People, human beings. If I were less shy I would just stop random people I meet on the train or on the bus or when I am walking to work. I would ask them to tell me their story through my photographs and through these photographs I would tell the story of humanity.
Which cameras do you have?
I bought and sold many. I like to experiment with cameras like with my Minolta CLE and Leica M6, what I like is the discretion and sensations I am given by staying behind the camera as when I am taking pictures with my reflex Pentax MX. I like the solidity and size of the camera, the fact I have access to so many lenses that are mostly sold in second hand shops for very little. Other cameras I like are my Yashica Mat 124G and a Bronica RF645. What I like about them are the ginormous negatives and the beautiful prints. I also have a Lomo LC-A, which I bought not long ago. A nice camera that fits your pants pockets.
What kind of photographs you like to take?
I’d like to create a photography series that tells a story. A story about how difficult it is to integrate in a society that is purely individualistic and divided; A story about daily battles against the obtuseness, fear and ignorance of people; A story about defeats and victories that alternate themselves; A story that allows a tiny ray of sun to penetrate and giving hope.
Do you have a favorite photographer?
Couple of months ago I came across Jacob Aue Sobol workings, “I, Tokio”, that have stroke me particularly. He takes a series of photographs that do not follow the standards of aesthetic I had imprinted in my head. Sobol’s photography is like a distillate of pure photography, his pictures do not contain any rhetoric. It is just an incredibly beautiful work.
A beautiful photo should…
A nice picture is able to penetrate a blanket of soot that with the passing of time it crusted on our souls hinges, allowing old memories to rise again and emotions we did not even know we could feel, allowing unpronounceable fantasies and repressed aspirations to revive.