The first lockdown was nothing short of surreal. And although we were all at home and terrified of not knowing what the heck was happening, I find that now many of us are unashamedly nostalgic about some of some of its unexpected benefits. Namely a world that was suddenly cleaner, quieter. A world where nature was liberated and allowed to have a renaissance. A world whose eerie stillness was possible because of the lack of human presence.
This is story behind this fascinating exhibition. The story of a photographer who decided to take his camera and shoot unique and unrepeatable photos of his hometown at an unprecedented time. Luca Maria Castelli brings us images of Bologna like it has never seen before and, most probably, like it'll never be seen again.
My strong favourite is the one that shows platform no. 1 at Bologna railway station, the busiest train hub in Italy. Anyone who's been through it knows the place is hellish chaos. But here, time stands still, not a soul is in sight, not a single piece of litter, no delays being announced by the tannoy, and no trains taking anyone anywhere. This photo sums up how the world had come to a complete standstill. The audible silence of the deserted station is the collective scream of millions of people living through a time of fear and uncertainty.
Luca used his heart and his eye to create cityscapes of great poignancy and intensity. This chronicle is a declaration of love and hope to his beautiful city. The show closes today, but photos will remain on view at Galleria Forni, Bologna.
Stazione Centrale, Binario 1
Via Santo Stefano
Via Pescherie Vecchie
Area di servizio Sillaro
All photos © Luca Maria Castelli