Title: Blue Bar
Photographs: Matteo Di Giovanni
Essay: Brad Feuerhelm
Editing: Emiliano Biondelli and Matteo Di Giovanni
Editorial Supervision: Giulia Brivio
Edition: 485 copies + 15 special edition books with one print (I-X, 1-5)
Dimensions: 27 x 22 cm
Publisher: Artphilein Editions, Lugano
Year of publication: 2020
In 2014, I moved to Milan. To be frank, I didn’t know much about Northern Italy. Just a few trips here and there, nothing more. I had always preferred other destinations. But I was aware of the famous River Po, the 652 km stretch of water that cuts Italy into two parts, geographically and culturally.
As a newcomer, I decided to start driving along the banks of the river, reaching the end of it, just where it meets the sea: the river delta is pretty huge. Once immersed in that land, I fell in love with the territory. It was not Italy for me: it just reminded me of all those American movies I had watched, the music I had listened to and the books I had read. I started going back again and again until in the end, I met a fisherman who decided to be my guide, to show me around and tell a whole load of stories about the place.
But the most important thing he said to me was “living below sea level gives you a different perspective. If one of the river banks breaks, this land will disappear.”
In that moment, I decided the work had to be about the idea of uncertainty, which is the leitmotiv running through the whole book. Once you are aware of it, once you start travelling through unknown places, you look for other signs, other symbols that might inspire you and teach you something more about the world. And this thirst for knowledge keeps you going.
Once on a foggy day, I came across a very peculiar bar with a huge hedge just in front of it. I took a photograph and went on. I didn’t really know where I was and never saw that bar again on my future explorations.
On the very last trip, I made myself a promise: I would find that bar. During one of the last days I was on the road, I recognised the canal that led to that bar and found it at last. Its name happened to be Blue Bar.
At the end, every journey is about searching for something.
This publication is the second volume of a trilogy, see also I wish the world was even