Back in 2011, I applied to an artistic project called Who’s Next Expo.
I was one of the selected ‘artists’ and participated with a photo-project named Io non sono qui (=I’m not there), inspired by the 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, about American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.
To read the whole story, have a look at my previous post.

As my first post for the new year, I thought about something positive, full of hope and good vibes. A small group of three young Parisiens, giving free hugs to strangers at the sunset in front of Louvre, sounded perfect.

The following words are from the movie I’m not there – italian version, as I wrote them down for the exhibition. Quotes in original version to follow!

“Sapete, mi ci è voluto del tempo per diventare giovane, ora io mi considero giovane, sapete… e ne sono fiero, ma non è un mondo per i vecchi là fuori.”
(“You know, it took me a long time to get young and I assume myself young and now… I’m proud of it. It ain’t no old people world out there.”)
[…]
“Siamo tutti d’accordo, credo, che il mondo è un posto terribilmente incasinato. Ma… si dà il caso che penso che si può fare qualcosa per cambiare la situazione.”

Jack Rollins

Paris, March 2011
Paris, March 2011
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Back in 2011, I applied to an artistic project called Who’s Next Expo.
A Roman night club, the Sinister Noise – “a club designed as a place for cultural exchange of music and art, an open space for concerts, DJ sets, art exhibitions, film reviews, short films, theater” -, selected some new talents to show their works. Painters, photographers, street artists (among the others: Millo) and graphic designers took part in it.

I was one of the selected ‘artists’ and participated with a photo-project named Io non sono qui (=I’m not there), inspired by the 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, about American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. I can’t imagine a single day lived without music, I love Bob Dylan, I love the movies and this one is one of my favourite ever. The use of non-traditional narrative techniques, intercutting the storylines of the six different Dylan-inspired characters, really struck me.
The fractured film structure, with its numerous openings and a multitude of voices, with the aim of being just one refraction of Dylan, the feeling you get watching it of a difficult and mysterious and evasive person, a life defined by change and constant disappearances and constant transformations, the idea of a human being that, the minute you try to grab hold of him, he’s no longer where he was, the feeling of never belonging to a place, the travel sake, the freedom of being someone else somewhere else, wearing outworn shoes but with strong legs willing to go…

…it all sounded like me.

I happened to travel to Berlin and Paris, two gorgeous cities that need no presentation, between January and March 2011, so I wandered around them with Dylan singing his legendary songs in my iPod, with the words and the movie scenes impressed in my mind. Then I started making connections and correlations between all of them, associating song lyrics or movie words to some of the shots I took.
What you’ll see from today on, is the result of it.

As in the last days I’ve been posting pictures of windows, I’ll begin showing you my photo-project with the following pic.
I took it in Paris, when strolling around Montmartre I got inside a beautiful church, Saint Jean de Montmartre, built in 1904 and designed by architect Anatole de Baudot, a student of Viollet-le-Duc, a French architect and theorist, famous for his interpretive “restorations” of medieval buildings (a guru for any architecture student at his first year!).
There was a choir singing, it was lunch time thus the light was awesome.

It felt like a magic, mystic moment and the Bob Dylan song Pressing On fit perfectly.

Well I’m pressing on
Yes, I’m pressing on
Well I’m pressing on
To the higher calling of my Lord

Many try to stop me, shake me up in my mind
Say, “Prove to me that He is Lord, show me a sign”

What kind of sign they need when it all come from within
When what’s lost has been found, what’s to come has already been?

Well I’m pressing on
Yes, I’m pressing on
Well I’m pressing on
To the higher calling of my Lord

Shake the dust off of your feet, don’t look back
Nothing now can hold you down, nothing that you lack
Temptation’s not an easy thing, Adam given the devil reign
Because he sinned I got no choice, it run in my vein

Well I’m pressing on
Yes, I’m pressing on
Well I’m pressing on
To the higher calling of my Lord

 

The Sinister Noise art director liked the project and asked to two more photographers to take part in it: Luca Fabbri and Mauro Manni. You can still find the exhibition flier here.

Saint Jean de Montmartre, Paris, March 2011
Saint Jean de Montmartre, Paris, March 2011