Photographing for me is a tool to understand and I try also with that to be able to look at the world and to say, ‘what is it?’, more than to refer to something you already know and say I’m going to photograph it this way. So, the line is always like, ‘how can I represent what is in front of me with a very, very simple tool and how can I use also this tool to know the world and to get something new out of the world?’
It’s slow, it’s heavy, it’s film, it’s plate camera, and I always make very few pictures. There’s quite a lot of preparation. Even if, somehow, each of my photographs is a slow preparation, I believe in celebrating the instant, so there’s not much change you can do after. I don’t work with digital, I work with film. I always try to reduce, somehow, the amount of experience that you bring into a photograph because photographs, if they tend to say everything, they don’t say anything. I tend to just bring out a few aspects of what I experience as a person. The contrast becomes very important; the tonality in small differences to give the volume, to be able to show the forms. And I think there’s quite a lot that we can say with grey about volumes which somehow doesn’t come out with colour - colour is distracting us. The black and white, the shading of the black and white, allows us to really read the form and material and to understand what the material is. Maybe we cannot completely recognise sometimes because we don’t have the colour, but we feel what it does and I think that’s very important. Every single detail, every piece, has a reason – has a technical particularity that belongs only to Concorde. Nothing in the picture says, ‘why is it there?’, and when you photograph architectural details and something is a little bit out of place you think, ‘it doesn’t work’, and actually it’s wonderful because you put the camera and you look at Concorde and it’s always intense. The photograph is always working somehow because it’s full of amazing solutions. I definitely have a memory of my grandmother telling me that she went to Concorde and that is an amazing airplane and as a child you are described the noise the airplane makes and you try to imagine what it is. It’s full of very old memories about something that was celebrated and now it’s not there anymore.
We are high to be able to see the plane from above which is a great thing. I can say I have been higher than Concorde in my life. I had this incredible view that I was flying on top of the Concorde and it’s quite amazing.
SPECIAL EVENT: To celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth the V&A will present a programme of free screenings of Shakespeare productions, documenting some of the best British productions of the last 20 years.
22 March – 13 July 2014. Experience the world of William Kent, the most prominent architect and designer in early Georgian Britain and explore how his versatility and artistic inventiveness set the style for his age when Britain defined itself as a new nation and developed an Italian-inspired style.