Let’s start with a small presentation who is Marco Marzocchi?
A lot of things. difficult to say. I’m a thousand different things really. Feelings, desires,passions, dreams etc etc.I can’t really identify myself so easily. Plus I take pictures.
When did you start taking pictures? Do you remember what it felt like? How does the Marco of today look at the Marco from when he was just starting out?
I should divide photography in two. I started taking pictures when I was a kid, and to me it was like playing. My father always had a camera, polaroid etc. so it was really easy. and we used a lot memory albums and slides projections. Back then it was very common, it was the 80s.Growing up I kept taking pictures of my friends when I was a skateboarding punk teenager. But the real change happened in the late 90s. At that point something clicked in my head and I started to grab my attention. And I started my research. oh man. I have a great love and compassion for my old self. I was so young and naive, so arrogant and anxious. I mean I had this huge void to feel, this big monster to feed and it was so scary. I was so innocent and inexperienced. I have compassion and admiration. a lot. I always get into things by a strong form of obsession, and this happened in photography too. It’s my nature, I am a weirdo.
Your work Oyster (Congratulations, an earthquake of emotions) is the end of a path, I guess difficult. Can you tell us the dynamics of how it developed? And the difficulties you encountered during the process?
Oyster took a lot of time, patience and courage. but especially love. And I mean compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. It was hard. It was like a final test after 20 years of psychotherapy. I had to find the courage to face the thing that were really ruining my life. The questions and the secrets. The project was the consequence of a need that I had, to put a lot of things outside myself and decide to put them in a drawer and start my new life. Oyster is a rite of passage. Creating something so personal can be scary, and it was really draining, a path very long and steep, but I like doing difficult tasks, quite rewarding. The most difficult time in the project was the editing phase, that was really emotional and psychologically heavy.
Which authors have influenced you? If there are any. They don’t have to be photographers, they can be directors, writers, comic book authors..
A lot of them; from photography to cinema, to music, to the people I know, those who are in my pictures. I don’t like to make lists because I am sure I’ll forget someone. I am a ravenous music listener, book reader, film and photographer watcher. My photography is made by all the music, movies and things I lived and experienced, all the people and all the photographers I met along the way.
Photography, perhaps like all artistic forms, is the fruit of who we are, when Marco does not tell himself (even though we always tell ourselves) what is he attracted to? What are the subjects and stories you like to tell?
In this moment I am telling a lot about myself and the others. I like spending time with people that really amaze me for a small particular thing. I really don’t know what exactly is going to happen or what is going to be my photography.. I take pictures on emotional waves, and when I’m bored I take pictures too. I could take 10 rolls straight of the same thing over and over. I take pictures when I’m happy and when I’m sad. I take pictures because they happen all around, non stop. It’s hard to keep a high level of amazement. And when I get too comfortable I change camera, I take pictures I don’t want to take and try to stay awake, or lose myself in daily banal and boring things. It’s like playing guitar, why you play the same song over and over? It’s an exercise that needs a lot of practice and endurance, sometimes it is beautiful sometimes horrible. But you have to hang in there.
Can photography make you a better person?
Hard to say… what do you mean with better person? Good like the one who helps a granny cross the street? photographers can be weird people. Some follow trends, some have needs, some want money and success, some have bad habits, and some others (many) have mental health issues. Photography is just photography, and photographers are shy people hiding behind a camera, trying to have a decent social life. Photography is a thing that happens while you are searching for something. Photography doesn’t define you, it is a consequence of your act of living: it happens. It can become so obsessive to ruin your life.
You happened to photograph without any idea in your head, without following or chasing any story, you just do it. Like photography, what else has to do with talking to yourself distractedly?
I usually don’t take pictures based on ideas. I take pictures with my stomach, based on feelings and then when I edit, then it is all about the brain. But sometimes it’s a mix of that, you always try to be adaptive. Sometimes you force yourself and your photography, sometimes you play with references and stereotypes sometimes you don’t. It’s good to be predictable too, sometimes.
A photo you’re particularly fond of? Show it to us.
How much courage does it take to be a good photographer?
I think if you go for it, you should go 110%, so a lot. I think good works are made of things that are always placed where we are more uncomfortable, so good photography to me is like that. It takes a lot from health and mental health to go there and get back safe. And this relates both to the things inside and outside of us.
In a hypothetical podium, where would you put honesty? And what would be the other two values that you consider indispensable in a photographic work?
Honesty is the key, there are a lot of photo projects and photobooks nowadays, and honesty is what makes your work relevant and last beyond glamorous and trendy stuff.
Honesty of intents, courage and anticonformity.
One or more obsessions. If you have any.
I have too many of them!
Thanks for the talk!
Thanks to you who have read this far!
If you want know some more about my photography and my books you can find me here: