I have always been fascinated by the Renaissance paintings of the ideal city. Order, geometry, light: the main characteristics of these paintings. With A Neutral Place I want to rebuild my ideal city, and I tried to bring together all the places I visited in an imaginary and unique city. The same perspective and geometry, the same light and order, even if the cities are many, all different. I then made a series of photographs analyzing the urban spaces to isolate what interested my research, eliminating any element of disturbance, isolating the scene from the context of the modern city, seeking order in the chaos.
It is not therefore a documentation, but a reconstruction through conscious choices. In this way, those who look at my photographs are in a unique city, real but at the same time imaginary and invisible. Basically the purpose of art is to make the invisible visible.
— Franco Sortini, Salerno, Italy
This series of photographs is born from my need to grant myself some moments in which to get out and explore the landscape in solitude for a few hours. Without a planned route or a clear destination, but with only the need for isolation and taking pictures, I always return to the same places over and over again by establishing a special relationship with them like a personal microcosm. The exploration and the relationship between place and memory become fundamental elements in the formation of a personal identity. The explored landscape is where I was born, grew up and in which I live: a part of the Padan Plains that extend from the countryside of “la bassa” (low plain) to the right banks of the River Po. In order to describe the different areas of land, I have adopted a distinctive look for each one. In the countryside I used tobacco sunset filters and as I get closer to the river the photos turn to a yellow-green color.
— Franco Monari, Modena, Italy