Human order is a truce with darkness, and it is temporary.
— Rezza, in an email message
Massimiliano Tommaso Rezza is new to photography. He only began exploring photography as an expressive art a few years ago after he had become increasingly dissatisified working as a chemist, a job he had held more than 10 years. In a bold decision, he made the leap completely into photography, and now it is a way of life for him.
The beauty of his work arises with intuitive juxtapositions of dream-like images that flow in and out of each other with cinematic fluidity.
Many of his photographs seem tinged with melancholy and visual poetry. They touch on themes of impermanence, impossible memories, sexuality, and an individual’s relationship to history, to others, and to the phenomenal world.
The first time I saw his work, during a portfolio review in Madrid, I was struck by the (now obvious) realization that many ancient sculptures actually represent a truthful likeness of a real, living person, rather than just an idealized depiction of a god or hero or mythic creature. And photography is very similar to sculpture, in that it can freeze a real moment in time.
This was just one of many thoughts that passed through my mind while, one after another, his photographs revealed themselves in a movie-like slide show.
His writing is nearly as poetic as his photography. When I asked some questions, via email, about this series and his approach to photography, he wrote back:
The photographer is immersed in darkness. Only partially does the light hit his eyes. Partially. How can photography see consistency when there is only a dim light that doesn’t unveil the whole?
. . .
There is no need to have one and only one style. There is not only one ‘me’. I cannot face existence with only one pair of glasses, one pair of eyes.
. . .
I used digital cameras and film cameras. I did not want to make anything solid. Solidity is not part of existence, at least not mine. Events occur with no order. I register them when they happen, whatever camera I have. There is no camera, just the urge to record the event.
. . .
And, referring to a particular image in this series, he said:
The man separates the food in his plate. The act is ridiculous, useless, but also tragic in a way. Yet I don’t understand why.
. . .
Rezza is prolific, as well. Just as I was finishing this article, he sent me a series of new photos, equally mesmerizing, but with a much different feeling. I’m looking forward to watching his career take off and evolve in the coming year.
— Jim Casper
A new book about the famous Swedish photographer, with old and new images, and an extended conversation between old friends.