Interview with Fabio Barile


I came to photography due to a series of fortuitous circumstances. My first encounter with art was with Surrealism and then with Futurism. In retrospect, it occurs to me that the art of the early 1900s manifests in itself the revolutions of thought of that period, from Freud and Jung’s theories on the mind to Einstein’s relativity. This overlap, in fact, is still the focus of my interest in art. Through Futurism I then discovered the photography of Anton Giulio Bragaglia and brothers, which was my first contact with the medium. From there something clicked.

Perhaps, having grown up in the television culture of the 80s, photography has more of a hold on me than painting or sculpture. In 2002 I bought Peter Gabriel’s Up album and in the booklet each song was associated with a photo, with authors such as Shomei Tomatsu, Susan Derges, Arno Rafael Minkkinen and Adam Fuss. That day I think I decided I wanted to use photography as a means of expression (listening to the album again and looking at the booklet, after almost 20 years, I realize that those images visually shaped me from the inside, like an underground river shapes the surface ). Origins aside, I do not assign a special status to photography, it is simply the result of a process, encounters and random circumstances that have built something, and this is exactly how I understand my artistic practice, as a stratigraphic instrument and a procedural means, as it defines it. Guido Guidi.

References (art, literature, music, other)

Biology. philosophy, quantum mechanics, photography, art, literature, anthropology.

Everything is broth, how is life supposed to be born? In a broth of various interacting components (perhaps more likely near hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean, but the image of the broth works).

To answer, I quote the opening words of “What is life?” by Erwin Schrödinger

“We clearly perceive that only now are we beginning to collect reliable material to weld together, in a single complex, the sum of all our knowledge; but, on the other hand, it has become almost impossible for a single mind to dominate more than a small specialized sector in all of this.

I see no other way out of this dilemma (unless we give up our purpose forever) other than that some of us venture to attempt a synthesis of facts and theories, albeit with second-hand knowledge and incomplete of some of them, and run the risk of being laughed at. ”

Research methodology

I have always worked on long-term projects, in each one I established a method made up of simple rules that guided me, but over the years in which the project took place my methodology inevitably changed and I suffered the frustration of finding myself with the last things done that for me they were good and the rest was to be thrown away, paying attention to these changes over time I realized, after years, that what really interested me was that change, I was interested not in how things are, but how things are they become. In this spirit, my current research tries to imitate (without having chosen it) some principles of evolution, that is the simultaneous and casual exploration of different trajectories and how these interact and change over time.

The only rules, at the moment, are two. The first is that whatever interests me, be it a rock formation, a forest, an object I built or an image on a wikipedia page, must pass through the lens of the optical bench (with some exceptions) and the second is that everything must end up on a 4×5 ”format black and white film, otherwise everything is worth it. It is a process based on accumulation, I am interested in the stratigraphic essence of things and, by things, I also mean my attempt to understand reality through photography.

I quote Schrödinger again “to weld together, in a single complex, the sum of all our knowledge” and add, of all that I am, what is mine because I have chosen it and what is mine because it comes from my family, my interests, my personal experiences, my contradictions, the history of the earth and the history of mankind. Everything belongs to me, or rather, it is I who belong to everything.