I am portraying Visible Cities in a long journey through different cities on planet Earth, with chance as guide. In London, I shut myself in its phone boxes for one week to capture the city through their famous windows. In Tokyo, I decided to photograph shadows in order to rescue what little of Japan remains in that megalopolis. A stroll through Berlin ended up leading me across the German capital in search of the color used most in the graffiti on its wall: green.
Paris is portrayed as a stroll through its old photos. Buenos Aires is a poem.
And in Rome, I traced the city by number, its numbers, from the monumental raised finger on the statue of Constantine as 1 to the 99 of a slightly lit door one night in Trastevere.
In three of these cities, the first people to see these photos were the local police. Interrogated for taking pictures from a phone booth in London, for following and snapping a photo of a young man with the number 78 on his t-shirt in Rome, and for taking photos from the ground in Tokyo (suspected of trying to get shots of schoolgirls’ underwear) not once was I able to explain the “why” of my work.
But the bobbies, carabinieri and agents in Tokyo all coincided in classifying me as artist, a label I don’t much care for but which, since then, I had accepted and use whenever it helps get me out of a police station and to suggest that perhaps art is no more than that: inexplicable before order.