‘Home Video Diary’
A book by Attilio Solzi, published by Void.
“If there is a task for art it is to represent its time. Art that does not hurt anyone probably does not serve anything.” - This was Attilio Solzi’s answer when told that some situations portrayed in ‘Home Video Diary’ would raise a few eyebrows amongst conservative people.
The straightforward title of Attilio Solzi’s new book might not do justice to its complexity.
The reader only needs to glimpse a few pages of his work before they are flooded with questions. What is happening? What leads these people to such surreal moments? Who are they? Where do these daily life spectacle take place?
Attilio’s way of seeing it is: “Ultimately, life is a comedy played between the drama and the grotesque. Depending on where you were born, one or the other character prevails. Around me, 90% is grotesque. I start from there, but then each "actor" adds their own ideas.”
Fascinated by vernacular photography and family home videos made during holidays and parties, Solzi’s idea was to make low-quality videos that mix the contemporary view of directors such as Ulrich Seidl and the poetics of certain avant-garde photography of the 1970s.
‘Home Video Diary’ is a project that started about 10 years ago. It was a "time-consuming" job over the years that only ended when Attilio’s camcorder broke.
The videos have been shot in the small Italian village where Attilio lived. The people portrayed on those videos aren’t actors or models but his acquaintances, friends and neighbours... People that he knew. People who allowed him to enter into their intimate moments, and who in return were able to enter into Attilio’s peculiar universe.
Who is playing a character? Who is playing themselves? It is hard to figure out where reality ends and fiction begins. The strong bond between artist and the people within the images blurs such definitions. In the words of the artist: “’Video Diary’ is fiction but wants to be truer than the truth. It is a look at daily life where the border between the real and the surreal is not clear.”
‘Home Video Diary’ is definitely a book that raises more questions than answers.
‘Home Video Diary’
1 Spaghetti Recipe
Text by Achille Filipponi
Language: Italian / English
Designed by João Linneu