Although the Mid-Autumn holiday is short, it is still ample for a pleasant city tour. In the digital age, why not take a stroll of the streets across time and place online, through the artist's camera? In this issue of The View, we have invited the street photographer Mattia Gobbi to share his creations and insights with you.
“A direct insight into the streets of daily life”. This is how I would define my way of conceiving photography. I started getting involved with photography when I was very young: we used to have analogic cameras at home through which I could capture mainly family portraits during holiday times. I was fascinated by the medium itself rather than by the result, even though photography represented something mysterious and fascinating from the point of view of a young child.
For many years, I haven’t explored the artistic side of photography; however, I used to keep alive the passion for photography as personal documentation. I started developing a real obsession and passion for photographic images and for their production since I started to travel to Asia, and I moved to China.
The experience of suddenly finding myself on the other side of the world played a pivotal role in my personal and visual education process: I had the opportunity to discover a deep interest for cultural diversity and to delve into the complex and, at the same time natural, unfolding process of human daily life. I had the drive to capture this slow and continuous existential flow and to transfer it on the photographic surface.
In a short time, I realized that the photographic techniques underpinning street photography and candid photography were extremely suitable to capture what would happen in the surrounding space and what I would bump into walking down the streets. Delving more into the history of photography and of its movements, I realized that many artists and photographers, while breaking away from the traditional photographic techniques, managed to conceptualize through their practice and language a new photographic genre that could perfectly suit my expectations and that could capture what I was interested it.
卡斯特拉马雷 Castallammare 2018
国际知名街头摄影师乔尔·迈耶罗维茨（Joel Meyerowitz）、阿历克斯·韦伯（Alex Webb）、罗伯特·弗兰克（Robert Frank）、加里·温诺格兰德（Garry Winogrand）、森山大道（Daido Moriyama）、马丁·帕尔（Martin Paar）、威廉·埃格尔斯顿（William Eggleston）等人以独具个性的创作风格为多元、多维摄影的出现奠定了基础。原来，摄影既可用于记录，也可以用来研究人类学和解读旅游文化和因果美学。
Internationally established street photographers include Joel Meyerovitz, Alex Webb, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Daido Moriyama, Martin Paar, William Eggleston to name of a few. These photographers elaborated a personal and distinctive style which laid the ground for the emergence of a versatile and multifaceted photographic movement encompassing notions of documentary and anthropology as well as elements from travel culture and causal aesthetic.
The street is the place where I take almost all my photos and daily life, conceived as a set of gestures and interaction among people, is the main subject matter. The pivotal force behind my photographic activity is the willingness to be part of and to capture the slow process of anthropological evolution underpinning the history of humanity until now. Photography represents a means to capture new social conventions, old cultural myths, small daily gestures, and forms of interactions between people and the surrounding environment: these interactions take place within different environments and cultural backgrounds that share the same human quality, regardless of the specific characteristics.
布宜诺斯艾利斯 Buenos Aires 2017
Photos become suspended stories, evoking Raymond Carver’s books: viewers are brought into the life of the subjects, as if they were reading a randomly selected page from a diary. The subjects of the photos are perfectly integrated within the surrounding environment: in my photos, I capture images of individuals who are unaware of me taking photos of them. The final visual result is characterized by the presence of elements and connotations which highlight temporal and spatial connotations of the unique captured moment, without unveiling any hints regarding the moments before and after the photo is taken. The space for free imagination and interpretation that I deliberately leave to the viewers is the same pivotal force and curiosity that pushed me to capture a specific moment when I take a shot.
I like the idea of engaging with photography and of getting involved as much as I can into the situation that I am capturing. I believe that the intrinsic dynamic movement of the scene is somehow conveyed to the viewers: this very dynamism reflects the movement of the photographer towards the object, and therefore it represents an insight into reality. Even for the very short time of the shot, I establish a contact with the subject in front of me and this intimacy bestows the photos with a unique and distinctive character.
A preliminary analysis and research about chromatic shades as well as socio- economic conditions, cultural background and local traditions of the context before taking a photo, plays also a pivotal role. In the light of this preliminary research, at a first glance, the specificity and the uniqueness of the context’s cultural connotations emerge from the photos; however, at a closer look, viewers are naturally encouraged to focus on the subject and on those familiar elements in the scene, as if they were guided by an ancestral spirit, inclusive and somehow democratic, underpinning human evolution, bringing human life on the same level and transcending the specific differences.
In the complex and multifaceted images in my photographic archive, very often, when I am in front of a subject that I am about to photograph, I naturally establish a mental association with an image taken in the past: in this recalling process, memories are strengthened, and I feel even more encouraged to take the shot. I create a flow of images, a visual diary taking places on the streets of many different places in the world, while capturing and registering the normality in its state of constant “becoming”.
Mankind’s evolution is a slow process: the aim of photography is to crystalize and to reflect the current state of art of human existential condition through an artistic spirit. Photography is the only artistic medium to capture and register a moment in its unique and non- artificial character, achieving its own sublimation within the pursuit of truth. Throughout art history, every movement registered a certain tendency to represent mundane scenes from daily life, including artists like Renoir, Manet, and exponents of impressionism.
As a photographer, I could plan all my shots in advance and prepare the subjects, thus creating artificial images. However, the pursuit of truth is for me a non- negotiable principle. The expressive strength of my photographs lies in the willingness to shot subjects who are unaware that they are being photographed, therefore capturing the essence of a unique moment, bestowing this very moment with dignity and ultimately establishing an empathy with the viewer. My eye and the camera become a channel to enable the viewers to develop thoughts, ideas, and fantasies through the contemplation of the subject captured by the camera.
The space and the street play a pivotal role in street photography. A street photographer, walking down the street, should have no limitations: he should activate his concentration to capture all the small details of the surrounding environment which could otherwise be easily ignored. Since many years, I started photographing with very open quadrangular lenses which enable me to take wide shots, while providing me with a space to be filled with as many details as possible and enabling me to get closer to the subject.
Another important element street photography is the usage of film: the very material character of the film makes the photographic documentation more real, tangible and perceptible. The image taken by the photographic shot is as real as the moment captured with it. It exists as it did happen for real, and it has been documented. The usage of the film in contemporary photography is aimed at highlighting the uniqueness of the moment and its physical reality.
The works presented alongside the text in this publication have been taken in the past 15 years. Regardless of the different places in the world, I would like to convey a sense of continuity in the subjects selected: existence, humanity, and its continuous flow. To select photos that belong to different spaces and contexts while addressing the same essential issues is the conceptual framework within the selection process of the photos whenever I take part to an exhibition or a publications. For an exhibition aimed at celebrating the international women day, I remember to have selected shots taken at least from 10 different countries and in different times. The result was an interesting insight into the female condition around the world that could unveil, regardless of the different cultural background, the courage, the strength, the tiredness, the happiness the cheerfulness, the sense of safety and all those emotions and feelings that emerge from these private moments stolen from the life of stranger women around the world. I hope that these images generated a sense of empathy in the viewers for their universal character.
To experience travelling and living in different cultural backgrounds might generate a sense of acceptance or refusal for the differences. In my case, the willingness to embrace diversity turned out to be a pivotal force to delve into another culture, to establish a parallelism with my own and ultimately to pursue similarities. The pursuit of universal characteristics paved the path for the evolution of my photographic style. An inclusive approach aimed at cherishing everything around us, with no judgments or prejudiced ideas, regardless of cultural archetypes, bestows street photography with a deep sense of humanity.
马蒂亚·戈比（Mattia Gobbi）, 1986年出生于意大利的一个小村庄。2000年代中期，生性喜欢旅行的戈比踏出欧洲扩展新视野。他穿梭于大街小巷，每日与镜头之前的拍摄主体为伴，用相机记录人生百态。2009-2017年，戈比旅居中国。后来，他开始了更加大型的项目，为了丰富拍摄视角，他还前往阿根廷、伊朗、摩洛哥和以色列等国采风。目前，戈比居住于意大利。
Mattia Gobbi was born in Italy in 1986, in a small village but with a natural predisposition to travel. Expanded the horizons beyond Europe in the mid-2000s and found in the camera the perfect companion to stop and record every day and everywhere life moments stolen from the streets. He moved to Asia in 2009, China and he has been based in the area until 2017. He then started some larger projects while broadening the horizon of his photographic activity to Argentina, Iran, Morocco, Israel. He currently lives in Italy.
2016 - 2020年：天津WE Brewery年展
2016年：纽约现代艺术博物馆（MOMA） See Trough Photography 课程
2017 - 2018 - 2019年：Click Park个展
His pictures hve been featured in solo and collective exhibitions, festival and on-line articles including:
2016 - 2020 TianJin WE Brewery yearly exhibition
2016 featured on CNCREATE
2016 MOMA See Trough Photography course
2017 - 2018 - 2019 Click Park solo exhibition
2017 Comune di Casaleone - Woman’s Day Exhibition
2017 Ferrara Contrarock solo exhibition
2017 Workshop with Tanya Habjouqa
2018 Workshop with Valerio Bispuri
2019 Roma Marciapiedi streetphotography Expo
2020 Venice photolab exhibiton
The View is a featured column based on the brand DNA of Parkview Green FangCaoDi. Hosted by Parkview Green FangCaoDi and undertaken by The Parkview Museum Beijing, The View releases in the “Parkview Green FangCaoDi” WeChat subscription account biweekly. Each issue features an article composed by a key opinion leader in the fields of art and culture, architecture, business, etc. They are here to share the insights of their profession and the industry, observations on recent news, and valuable reflections of matters in life. This column delivers the connotation of art and culture through different perspectives.