Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Gabriele Basilico: Learning from a documentary photographer's works

Gabriele Basilico is a documentary photographer who focuse on urban places in transformation and spaces where old and new entities merge. His work encompases industrial borderlands, modern edge cites, and other boundary zones which illustrate these concepts of transformation. His methods of photography, such as the use of desaturated, high-contrast images, work particularly well with his subject matter and help to highlight the "morbid beauty" of these spaces. I have been impressed with Gabriele Basilico's works and in a recent assignment had to mimic his style of documentation in Genoa, Rome, and Siena.

In the above photos, I worked to capture the same sort of deteriorated spaces as Basilico and to show them in a new light. The photos on the left are those of Basilico and those on the right are ones that I took of similar spaces. The first parallel I found in subject matter was in Siena; the arched interior space documented by Basilico reminded me of this arched space in Siena, which was peeling with age but inhabited by a new car, showing the overlap of its old and current use. The second parallel I found was of the Coloseum in Rome; the old monument is still grand, yet now shows the stress of age with its holey walls and crumbling facade. I found the last parallel in Genoa; the narrow city street was once used frequently by pedestrians and horses, but now has fallen into disrepair and is cluttered with trash and debris. The photos of Gabriele Basilico helped me to recognize the beauty of these old spaces and to document them.

Janis Fowler

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