Project info

“TEQUILA 177” are name and number of one of the hundreds goats that every year are taken to combat in the field of a series of moving events which take place in spring, summer and autumn in the alpine region of Aosta Valley (Italy). These events are called “Batailles des chèvres”: goats combats.

The animal that fight wins after defeating the highest number of rivals.
The animal that fight keep being unhurt. Someone judges these events as bloodless.
The animal that fight is always a female one.

During last two years the author went to these events investigating this context in relationship with local traditional and cultural identity which is himself part of. The focus of this project is the human being: men, women and young, with the stories that they carry on the surface (cultural elements, social origin, age) and with the instincts that are laying under the veil of their image (happiness, natural awareness, ambition, fame). The tale develops a particular aesthetics with the purpose to emerge the resonances between human beings, objects, landscapes and pictures in order to suggest the emotional and unconscious dimension. “TEQUILA 177” experiments a simple but not simplified language, careful toward the in field as to the the out of field, toward the very small as to the very big: the relationship between the elements is always generating new forms of sense. The effort was to change the point of view from the inside of the project: everything is one and vice versa, in synchronicity.

In terms of language solutions, TEQUILA 177 develops many different ideas about photography and its meaning concerning identity comprehension. This project deals with the emersion of cultural identity elements through the tale of what is called a series of local events focusing on a precise activity: goats fights. The most evident aspect of this project is that there are no images of goats fights. The author put the accent on the focus of this visual exploration: what can we find right there before, during and after the fight are all elements that can reveal cultural identity. There is some kind of “animal instinct” out there, beyond the fights, and part of the author is in synchronicity with. Not to show the fights doesn't mean avoid to watch them and by consequence to deal with: it means to better understand the deep focus of the research and to suspend the judgment on animal treatment. It's evident that goats fights are events made by human beings not for goats but for human beings themselves and that's where the attention of the author goes to. Actually portraits are made before the battles and represent people that brought at least one goat into the ring. The same way landscapes were shot before the fights. During the fights were shot details and backwards portraits of the public: the pictures of the public were printed then framed and finally photographed once more on walls by a choice made by the author following aesthetic or personal reasons. Actually these kind of events are organized by the Association Comité Régional Bataille des Chèvres which receive a public economical contribution through the Agricultural Department as an integration in order to realize the championship: one of the expressed ambition is to improve the events also in the field of the complex touristic and gastronomic way. So who are these fights made for? Tourists: who and where are they? Farmers: who and where are they? Which future does it suggests? Finally this project is composed by pre existing pictures: the research ends after the fights, in other places, with the photographs of the winners of every event made by the organizers themselves that were taken by the internet, from the combats official website, and reframed by the author. All the elements are here mounted in a body of work with a circular structure in order to represent the metaphorical approach: for the author photography can't be conceived out of the concept of dynamic experience, from the subject to the author, from the inside of the frame to the outside, from the very personal world to the public space, back and forth moving in circle.