La Cattedrale

“It’s surprising how often memories appear to us in visual form, similar to snapshots in the psyche that only time can erase. After all, sight is not only the product of the activity of our eyes, it is also and above all the gaze of our mind through memory. This visual nature of the past that gives shape to our memories does not fit in appearance with blindness; yet, I wanted to probe this aspect, trying to work visually on the fear of losing sight. Hence, starting from this contradiction, the search for a visual narration cannot fail to be closely linked to memory, although the sight ceases, what remains is the entirety of the experiences that time offers us to the extent that we exist and existence is nothing more than a continuous encounter between us, the world and what goes beyond us.” In June 2020, I found my grandfather’s angiographies from 1999, that diagnose his loss of sight in his right eye, due to a thrombosis. Although not blind, the loss of stereoscopic vision changed many aspects of his life. I grew up flipping through his family albums and as a photographer, the thought of losing sight instantly shocked me. Nowadays, the sense of sight is almost taken for granted. However, if we acknowledge the possibility to lose it, things change. This is why I decided
to work on a universal fear, not just personal, that we can all have, trying to give value to images that, before being photographs, are memories.”

Project presented in Giovane Fotografia Italiana #09 – POSSIBILE


(Bagno a Ripoli, FI,1989)

Riccardo Svelto graduated from LABA (Libera Accademia di Belle Arti) in Florence with a BA Photography (2015), where he now works as a professor teaching the “Developing a Photographic Project” course. His work is mainly focused on the relationship between empathy and social dynamics, as an attempt to understand the emotional interaction and mental structures we face at different ages and circumstances of life.
He is the recipient of the FOLIO International Online Photobook Masterclass (2020) by PhMuseum & Witty Books. “La Cattedrale”, published by Witty Books (2021), is his first photobook. His work is featured in printed and online publications such as Ignant, i-D, Booooooom, VOSTOK magazine and others. He is currently based in Florence, where he works as a professor andfreelance photographer.

Riccardo Svelto, portrait by Simone Padelli