There are town planners who have defined the photographer as a seismographer, as he is the first to detect the slightest tremor or change to take place in front of his eyes. As far as I am concerned, I believe that my work might be compared initially to the work of a dowser who, feeling his tripod vibrate, knows that he may have found some precious water.
As Paul Virilio says in his essay “Art as Far as the Eye Can See”, the camera lens has allowed us to see increasingly far away, even towards the ends of the universe — but seeing more does not necessarily mean seeing better. Especially today, given that we live “in a world where the priority seems to be no longer that of seeing but of being seen”.
I do not believe in the image as absolute truth. Indeed, I am very interested in those situations where reality and appearance are blurred. For me photography is, first and foremost, a staging of reality, a metaphor and a representation of the world, which draws all of its strength precisely from its innate ambiguity.
In recent years, I have become increasingly interested in the concept of limit or, rather, the strange horizon of events on which we rest in unstable equilibrium. I try to bring that sense of precariousness into my work, making no attempt either to resolve the images in an absolute and direct way or to suggest a neutrality and an absence of judgement which are impossible to put into practice.
In 2008, I started a new photographic series about blasting and how the explosive has been used for demolition, remediation, pyrotechnics, etc.
This series examines the concepts of “time”, “limit” and “energy”, not only regarding the explosions themselves, but also as representations of the destruction of the contemporary world. Even as the world around us feels like it's falling apart, we still feel limited to the role of spectators, indifferent ones at that. So, my series tries to capture a sublime spectacle that attracts and repels at the same time; painful, but maybe necessary to rebuild and renew.
I’m much more interested in the context than in the explosion in itself. In this way, the blast could even seem like fake or a bug inside the picture, between staged and reality.
All the pictures were taken with a 4x5 camera, so I had only one shot and good luck!
— Andrea Botto