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Carlo Vanoni



I have always asked myself if the city, any city, with its architecture, main streets, monuments, etc. could become a place able to amaze us and at the same time welcome us. We can, through out gaze, make it become an “our vital space”? Could nomadism (in the form of walking, strolling) ever be the ideal way of reaching this objective? A citation from Pasolini: “Moscow is an immense Garbatella” inspired me to some considerations. The city, I told myself, could be seen as a type of hypertext (“The city is a place in which, looking for one thing, you can find another”), a non-virtual place where instead of “navigating” you walk (“During my life I have met not more than one or two people who understood the art of Walking, that is to stroll”); a vital space at the moment in which you look at it with “a free eye”. Walking therefore, not to reach a destination, but just for the pleasure of doing it, for the pleasure of discovering recesses never seen before. The literature of these “urban vagabonds”, has created a typical figure: le flaneur. Le Flaneur appears for the first time in the middle of the XIX century in Paris. He is the passerby, a cross between the bohème and the vagabond, who walks through the streets of the city with no aim, stopping every so often to look around. In his role of observer the flaneur establishes a particular relationship with the city, living it as though it were his own home. His route does not coincide with the rest of the multitude; what for the passerby is a predetermined walk – the market route, as Walter Benjamin would say - for him is a labyrinth that changes shape at every step: he is led by the colour of a facade and by the unsettling uniformity of some windows, the gaze of a mulatta girl. In the flaneur Baudelaire sees the archetype of the modern artist (who had to have “something of the flaneur, something of the dandy and something of the child”), the only person to be able to represent the liquidity of modern life. It is with the gaze of the flaneur that Luca Dall’Olio photographs the walls of the world. He walks with his camera and gathers fragments of architecture, portions of a world that no tourist guide would ever hazard to explain to their groups, flaking walls and pastel coloured facades of houses, plastering, window ledges. He poses and potrays them. Studying the light he adjusts the shadows. Photography is no longer the medium to attest events but it becomes palette to construct new worlds (Jeff Wall), inexistent environments (Thomas Demand), museums seen through people’s eyes (Thomas Struth), enormous supermarkets (Andreas Gursky) and shining bookshops (Candida Hoefer). The photography of Luca Dall’Olio is nourished by what each of us has in front of his eyes every day, from Helsinki to Lisbon, from Brasil to the province of Brescia, but that often we are not able to catch because there is not street sign showing it to us. The objective therefore has the function of “indicator of beauty” so that it, beauty, can be found everywhere and in different ways  rom those ready-made. To know how to look to nourish us with beauty. To look for poetry in the daily grind. To improve life. That is when the prey in the viewfinder becomes the environment in which we find ourselves, those traces that time or the hand of man have laid on the walls. Walking. Observing. To get excited. Luca Dall’Olio from painter of dreams who created fantastic landscapes, to photographer of reality, to show us that the dream is in the cities where we live. The medium changes, but the dream continues.

Brescia, 2007

Carlo Vanoni

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