Interview with the artist Michele Di Donato

What is your artistic singularity ?

In all my artistic production, I do not try to represent reality, but rather the idea of reality. Images, unlike thoughts, do not impose opinions on things, but has to do with truth in the sense that it is the representation of our perceptions on a pure level. When I shoot, I focus my attention on the emotions the place communicates to me; all this becomes the starting point for a reflection on the “customization” of that space. The world in which we live, the modern society, requiresto think and live in places in anonymous terms; a sort of stations that are always similar to themselves. Marc Augè explained all this in a beautiful book “Non luoghi”, a concept that I tried to put on stage in a photographic project of the same name. It is therefore the sensationthe place transmits to me that”drives” the shot to make. And the only way to stage an attitude to make a place or pure emotion is to take pictures that shows both form and energy. The so-called “photographic error” allows all this. The randomness of the endemphasizes these processes. Clement Cheroux, in “The photographic error, a brief story” confirms all this, and that is that the deliberate sabotage of a system (linguistic, mechanical, visual) causes the consolidated code to jam in order to bring out the real essence. This is the basic thesis of all my work. It is precisely in the mistakes that “photography reveals itself and allows itself to be analysed better”. My “sets” are spaces taken from everyday life. And all my work documents my attempts to populate these spaces with the ghosts of my mind. It must be the framing that solicits a “familiar” feeling in the viewer. All my work consists of frames of a film that anyone recognizable.

Metapolis #14© Michele Di Donato

Can you tell us a bit about Metapolis #4?

Metapolis #4© Michele Di Donato

Metapolis #4 is a part of a project called “Metapolis”. In this image, as in the whole project, we find ourselves on the borderline between metaphysics and realism. We are witnessing an invisible film with an extremely articulated plot, marked by sixteen still images. The country seems drowned in opaque veils; all the colours are subjected to a burning sun, which sucks them in silence. A country placed at the limits of reality, an icon of poverty and sincerity. The lens of the camera moves and you can guess some human presences. But the inhabitants seem to have gone away, in a sort of “The day after”. In their escape, they left little memories behind them. Nothing is usual. The buildings and squares sink into a fragile lagoon light. We find ourselves in a space strongly characterized by ideology. Overview of colors and segments that leave intermittent. This place is situated on a ridge between metaphysics and realism. Here I recall the scenes painted by de Chirico in his paintings, while pointing to a dimension “on a human scale” where men are no longer there. The profile of an abandoned territory in a dimension beyond history is sculpted with colour. The only emblems of contemporary civilization are the silhouettes of television antennas. But they are just echoes. There is no movement. This is the place of virtual cancellation of the individual from the surrounding context; the unnamed is the privileged place of isolation of consciousness, which is returned, with participated disenchantment, through mute scenographies made of porticoes and walls, streets and houses.

Are you interested by the buyers of your art ? Do you want to know about their reasons ?

I would like to know and talk to anyone who decides to buy one of my images. I consider my images to be only a “signifier”. The “meaning” is specific to the user, the end user. That is why I would like to talk to them. To understand what they received from my images, i. e. what I managed to do about myself.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love to photograph because I love to think. As I have already said, photography does not show reality but it shows the idea of reality. That’s why I’m a photographer. I decided to take pictures instead of talking. I’m a photographer to express myself, for not to forget and, above all, not to stop looking.


Metapolis #5© Michele Di Donato

Which art/photography fair do you appreciate the most and why?

I generally prefer to visit The London Art Fair, the ArtBasel and the Mia Photo Fair. But unfortunately for work reasons I never have much time to visit the fairs.
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