Stuck in the Picture #6 Massimiliano Perasso

Let’s start with a small presentation who is Massimiliano Perasso? When did you start taking pictures? Do you remember what it felt like? 

I consider myself a traveler. I certainly love to travel with the mind and whenever possible with the body too. I started at about the age of 15 when I received my first compact camera as a gift. I remember that I used to go to visit my relatives once a year and that occasion was perfect to give meaning to my photographs. I got used to binding my photos to my memory, to compensate for the physical or mental absences of some people or places.

What weight does photography have in your life in general and in everyday life?

I think that taking photographs has become an instinctive gesture and is so cemented with my daily life that it is not considered as a gesture to be given weight. What follows (selections, editing, layouts), on the other hand, I can admit that it takes up most of my time. Sometimes I take my distance from everything to try to regenerate the spirit, to look a little further beyond borders and preconceptions. It is an attempt of course, nothing certain.

Has it ever occurred to you that your work causes you pain? Even in retrospect?

Surely. If there is a sense for my daily photography, it certainly consists in continuing my work of introspection. Every time I look back, through my photos and projects, I fall into a vortex of emotions that are difficult to manage. This type of suffering helps me to remember what has been, what we are. ..and the more I suffer in remembering, the more I suffer in searching. There is always the downside, I am of the opinion that accepting certain types of suffering can also help to better define the concept of happiness.

Is there a part of Massimiliano that doesn’t show in your shots?

I am sincere and careful in representing myself. It is hard work to talk about yourself in everyday life. Like almost everyone I have my favorite roads, generally I avoid facing safe roads, I prefer to grope in the dark. What I do not represent in photographs is all that I consider repetitive, everything that concerns everyday life is negligible for me, unless it is linked to a particular emotion. Another problem is the web, we are forced to censor a lot, I am not only talking about nudes or particularly daring self-portraits, I am referring above all to the difficulty of communicating something in the appropriate way. One thing that cannot be seen on the web is my consideration of time, silence and all those shots that for some reasons I cannot publish for issues related to the absurd censorship policy.

What are the subjects you love to photograph? Are there situations that constantly return to your work?

People in general in intimate situations. I also really like trees, for their geometric ambition to reach the sky. In balance and harmony with the surrounding world. I’d like to be a tree. The situations that happen to me are all the situations that, in some way, I look for; even at the subconscious level. A sort of magic always leads me to intimate or adventurous situations and for this reason I consider myself very lucky. Even to be still alive.

A photo you’re particularly fond of? Show it to us.

I don’t have a favorite photo but I can show you something that lately screams in my head.

How much courage does it take to be a good photographer? 

A mix of courage and unconsciousness. The first one is necessary to face new situations and unforeseen events, the second occurs when courage fails. But this does not mean being a good photographer. In addition to experiencing firsthand you may need a lot of study and openness towards different communication languages. The ability to communicate does not always go hand in hand with courage. 

In a hypothetical podium, where would you put honesty in your work?  And what would be the other two values that you consider indispensable in a photographic work?

Honesty is essential, during the shooting phase and also subsequently during the selection process. I prefer to think that the emotion must be honest. In the final process the emotion, the mood that comes by reading my work, must be the same I have on my mind. If I were not honest I would not be able to work on myself, I would not be able to analyze my past and I would feel like an idiot. Totally. In this period, when I look for new works to read, in addition to honesty, I often look for coherence (which is related to honesty towards yourself but concerns a longer period of time). Last but not least: knowing how to communicate (for which sensitivity, study and a lot of passion are needed)

One or more hosessions. If you have any.

I have a lot of obsessions and addictions. I am a calm and peaceful person only thanks to a careful management of my weaknesses. I would like to be a simple person and enjoy the essentials but I will never succeed.

Tell me an anecdote, something curious that happened while you were shooting

I could tell when, a few years ago, in Rome a boy pointed a gun on my forehead (that person later became a friend, until he was arrested for various reasons. Since then I have lost track of him) or when I followed a mad bikers club around Europe (I fell off the bike among other things). And why not remember all the tears of joy and despair, and all the other situations in which things took an unexpected turn. There are so many anecdotes that I prefer not to highlight anyone. Not with words.

Thanks for the talk!

Thanks to you for your interest.

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