“You feel the infinite in yourself within the extensive desert that is human life”
We are used to images of migrants’ landings: desperate faces without a name, an identity, portrayed as an indefinite mass, as if no one counts as an individual. Esteso deserto is an attempt to give dignity to these people, through their personal objects lost during the landing and that the sea returned. These artifacts were recovered by Giacomo Sferlazzo, artist and activist, by Askavusa association and kept at Porto M di Lampedusa. Little things without importance, which here are loaded with meaning. I portrayed these floating objects in a white limbo that almost devours them, immersed in indefiniteness, because the destiny of their owners is indefinite. Each object is a story that evokes a reality but leaves great space for hypotheses. The title is borrowed from a quote by Pasolini who speaks of “extended desert” as of human existence as opposed to the inner infinity. I think this definition fits into the existential condition of these people, who escape from a real and physical desert to cross the sea, another desert. That in the end, often, they land in a place that does not welcome them, and that becomes an extended human and social desert.
Project presented in Giovane Fotografia Italiana #02 | CHANGE
Massimiliano Gatti studied Photography at Cfp R. Bauer in Milan and carries on his artistic research in the Middle East. As photographer following archaeological missions (from 2008 to 2011 in Qatna, Syria and from 2012 in the PARTeN project in Iraqi Kurdistan), he has the opportunity to deepen his knowledge of those lands rich in history and stories. With a documentary approach, but far from reportage, his research ranges from the exploration of the past to the observation of the multifaceted contemporary reality, suggesting his own personal reflection. His works are part of private and public collections including: Fondazione Fotografia (Modena), Galleria Civica (Modena), BNL Collection, California Museum of Photography (Riverside, USA), Columbia University, New York (USA). He lives and works between Italy and the Middle East.