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i© Marco Maria Zanin.

«Identity is a trap where an increasing number of rats share the one and only decoy that when observed closely, maybe could result in being empty. The stronger the identity is, the more binding it is and the more it jibs when facing expansion, interpretation, renewal, and contradiction. Identity becomes a fixed and inflexible lighthouse: it can change the position of the signal it emits only by paying the price of destabilising the navigation»

Rem Koolhaas*

I was walking as a flaneur in São Paulo's city centre with my Spectra and while I was shooting I saw from the corner of my eye a group of three boys that were coming closer to steal my camera. I immediately closed the Polaroid and distanced myself without thinking that the film did not have the time to come out. In the following shot, a few hours later, the film came out with a very curious double exposure. I decided I wanted to keep that mistake, I wanted to work on it, and that is how the series Sampolaroid was born.
The episode of the avoided theft is coherent both with what the city of São Paulo represents and with the choice of telling its story through a Polaroid.
São Paulo is the biggest city in Brazil, it hosts eleven million people and it is as chaotic as all new big cities in all developing countries; here uncertainties and contrasts rule perception and despite the unavoidable risks and inconveniences, it opens infinite new possibilities. It is a city where everything overlaps, where the local nature clashes with the western one, rich people live aside the poor and modern skyscrapers or multinational headquarters are built close to collapsing buildings. Everything follows a hectic, uncontrolled rhythm, there is no long term vision, as this would require a different, slower contemplative time which is impossible in the urban explosion of the Brazilian metropolis.
This also clearly expresses the most typical characteristics of the present age; the rapid transformations, the energy that explodes through the infinite technological possibilities, the saturated urban spaces where different identities and cultures are condensed and all the devastating consequences for the human being and the environment, but also with lots of new possibilities to explore.
I chose the Polaroid as it is the expressive tool that allowed me to better capture all those characteristics, starting from the escaped theft experience and its repercussions on the photographic tool able to effectively represent the social, cultural and urban tissue where it has been generated.
This is the expressive strength of the Polaroid, almost a toy, which from a bump, absorbs a mistake and creates a language, a poetic one. This photography is as sudden and evanescent as the time in the modern metropolis, where all outlines are lost and the constant stirrings (in snap-shots the light, the temperature and the humidity) are blurred and constantly change our identities. These double exposures translate into contrasts that meet one another - architectonical shapes and human shapes that merge - in one unique vision of a big pulsating heart that constantly develops and transforms, even if on the edge of madness.

[ Marco Maria Zanin ]

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(*) - Free translation from Rem Koolhaas, Junkspace, Quodlibet, Macerata, 2006; p. 28.

i© Marco Maria Zanin.

i© Marco Maria Zanin.

i© Marco Maria Zanin.

i© Marco Maria Zanin. v BEHIND THE SHUTTER CLICK
with Marco Maria Zanin

Marco Maria Zanin tells FPmag how the work Sampolaroid was born and has developed, and offers us an interesting opening on his way of working on the field.

i© Marco Maria Zanin.

i© Marco Maria Zanin.

Marco Maria Zanin - Zanin was born in Padua in October 1983. An eclectic humanist, he first took a degree in Literature and Philosophy, and then in International Relations, obtaining a Master’s degree in Psychology. At the same time he developed his artistic career, and travelled widely in different parts of the world, putting into practice the displacement so essential for a critical analysis of social contexts, and to fuel his research aimed at identifying the common spaces of the human community. Myth and archetype as the submerged matrices of modern behaviour are the focus of his investigation, which is based on observation of the relationship between man, territory and time. His instrument of choice is photography, which is often used combining different techniques and transcending the borders of other artistic disciplines. Lives and works between Padua and São Paulo, Brazil.


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