The other love of his life, although hopefully a distant third, is his 8×10 view camera, which he used to produce the lyrical tableaux of Italian life that are presented here. That they are tableaux is confirmed by Webster’s definition of the word: A representation of some scene by means of persons grouped in the proper manner, placed in appropriate postures, and remaining silent and motionless.
Veel blah-blah allemaal, maar het is een min of meer correcte beschrijving van wat de foto’s weergeven. Ze zijn duidelijk ‘in beeld gezet’, gemanipuleerd, maar wel zo, dat net natuurlijk genoeg blijft dat het niet lachwekkend wordt.
Unlike the photojournalist, he uses this observed formation as the basis upon which he builds. He calls it “shoring up the picture.” It is a process that sometimes leads him to a situation that bears little similarity to the original, and although at first glance these reconstructed scenes have the appearance of a captured moment, further observation reveals their careful and methodical organization. What gives them their power is the authenticity of each gesture and stance of those portrayed; they are, to quote Webster’s, placed in appropriate postures.
Een heerlijke anecdote is ook dit:
When Greg and his wife first visited her relatives in Italy, they arrived in Calabria around 11 p.m. after having driven from Rome for several hours. Naturally, dinner was still waiting for them, as was the scene of his large extended family by marriage huddled into a kitchen, illuminated by a single, naked light bulb. It was an image that was irresistible to him and his ever-present 8×10, and although everyone concerned was tired, it had to be photographed. If this was his introduction to his new Italian family, it was also their first inkling of what it’s like to have a photographer as a relative.
En ik ben vreselijk jaloers dat die man dat allemaal durft!