What remains - photos which touch the heartNadia Ilieva
What Remains is the title of a photobook which Italian photographer Alberto Gandolfo presents in Sofia with an exposition that will be opened in the Ko-OP gallery until 7 July. The event is organised as part of the 6th edition of the Fotofabrika Festival.
The book includes documentary stories accompanied by portraits of victims of the mafia, domestic violence, corruption, medical errors, unjust sentences. Gandolfo learns about them from media reports and gets in touch with their relatives in order not to let these stories be forgotten. When an event stops making headlines, the photos remain - this is the idea behind his cause. The more material we leave to posterity, the richer it will be, Gandolfo says. He dedicates the book to his five-year-old son to make him a keeper of the memory of these people's fates. Gandolfo notes that he doesn't consider himself an investigative photographer, his mission is to make annotation to history, and the result follows naturally. His portraits feature real people who have been living in the past 40 years of Italian history, these people came into harm's way because of violence or injustice.
Gandolfo says that he learnt a lot from many renowned photographers, such as Efrem Raimondi, who sends his personal messages through portraits. To a question whether he, like many of his colleagues, relies mostly on social networks, he answers with a flat “no”. He doesn't want to take a photo of a person via Skype but prefers to go to him personally and then relay the emotions he feels during the contact with him. That was how he met Salvatore, brother of Prosecuting Magistrate Paolo Borsellino, killed by the mafia in 1992, and Salvatore let him take photos of him. In the opinion of Gandolfo, the mafia is now mostly in the high echelon of power and is already only there. “We see only its hand but not its body which still remains hidden,” the photographer says.
Alberto Gandolfo is a winner of the honorary distinction of MIFA for 2016. He is also the mastermind and co-founder of Eglise, a photo collective based in Palermo. He has staged solo exhibitions, implemented various projects and exhibited his works at collective expositions in Italy, France and Russia. After the premier in Bulgaria, his exhibition What Remains sets out on a tour around Italy.