France Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

Milan (Italy). I finally had the opportunity of visiting Expo Milano 2015, the Universal Exhibition hosted in Milan from May 1 to October 31, 2015.

Unfortunately, as expected, the queues were too long and it was impossible to visit more than five or six pavilions in a day. The waiting time to see Brasil, Japan or Italy was more than three hours, and I found it very frustrating.

Therefore, I decided to take some photos: I brought my Leica with me and it was a nice exercise. Some pavilions (Russia and Germany, for example) have a terrace which offers a decent view over the exposition area.

Here are some samples: all my photos of Expo are tagged with “Expo Milan 2015” and can be seen clicking here.

The image here has been taken inside the France pavilion (one of the few ones I could see) and shows one of the Country’s characteristics: its wide production of seeds and agricultural products.

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The Floor at Agora Meyhanesi 1890 Restaurant (Fatih, Istanbul)

Istanbul (Turkey). I’m posting an old photo that I found in my archive and captured almost two years ago. I was in a typical fish restaurant in Istanbul (for food lovers, the name is Agora Meyhanesi 1890 and it’s in Fatih, in the Fener district along the Golden Horn) and I noticed this floor during my dinner. I found the sense of “orderly chaos” behind this design very intriguing, and for this reason I took this photo (although there was very few light, but this is just a technical aspect).

Photographing Around Me is also this (as I clearly write in the Manifesto): posting old photos only because one day they come back to my mind. The fact that this floor has ccome back to my mind just because I’m going to refurbish home well, this is an irrelevant detail!

Istanbul. Posto una vecchia foto che ho ritrovato nel mio archivio e che ho scattato quasi due anni fa. Avevo notato questo pavimento durante una cena in un caratteristico ristorante di pesce a Istanbul (per gli amanti del buon cibo, si chiama Agora Meyhanesi 1890 e si trova a Fatih, nel quartiere di Fener lungo il Corno d’Oro). Ho trovato il senso di “caos ordinato” dietro questo disegno molto intrigante, e per questo avevo catturato questa immagine (nonostante ci fosse pochissima luce, ma questo è un dettaglio tecnico).

Photographing Around Me è anche questo (come scrivo chiaramente nel mio Manifesto): postare foto vecchie di anni, solo perché un bel giorno mi tornano in mente… il fatto poi che questo pavimento mi sia tornato in mente perchè sto iniziando a ristrutturare casa, beh questo è un dettaglio irrilevante.

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Heavy Clouds Always Break Up. Street Art by Beast

Milan (Italy). If you are in Milan in these days (by the way, there will be the fashion week soon!) and you walk around the popular area around Corso Garibaldi, you will probably notice the fantastic masterpiece by the Italian artist Beast. The title is “Heavy Clouds Always Break Up” and it shows a long boat with some politicians on board. It’s easy to recognise Matteo Renzi, Angela Merkel, David Cameron (three Prime Ministers) and the so called “eurosceptic” Matteo Salvini: they are all on the same boat trying to cross a river in a stormy context. A true metaphor of these contemporary times inspired by the painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.

I love this example of Street Art, I think it’s a great form of expression, accessible to everybody (those passing from here on their way to the office, or coming for a night walk, easily stop in front of Beast’s work and take some photos) and it seems that people are quite enthusiastically following the appearance of such works on Corso Garibaldi’s wall.

I tried to photograph Beast’s new work without people and without distortions, so that you can appreciate much more its details. If you want to see it live, copy and paste these coordinates in google maps 45.479095, 9.185913


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Carrot Cake

Food photography is not an easy assignment. From one side, you must show that the product is “teasing”; from the other one, it must be as much real as possible. Furthermore, there’s the general composition… For this shooting, I agreed with the owner to choose a total white background and a minimal scene, in order to highlight the brown color of this carrot cake together with its ingredients (cinnamon, died fruit and walnuts). I think it is nice!

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Near Eastern Antiquities: Mesopotamian Art at the Louvre Museum

Paris (France). One more time, I’m finding my source of inspiration in a quote I have read in a book. The title of this book is “The Museum of Innocence”, and the author is the Turkish writer Orhan Pamul: he is very popular, not only in Turkey (perhaps I like his books because they make me think about Istanbul and Turkey).

Orhan Pamuk’s sentence simply says:

“Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.”

Now, think about these words for a while. And then, try to remember the last time you have visited a museum.


… take your time, if you need …


Let me describe the last time I visited a museum: it was some days ago. Well, I should more properly say “some nights” ago, since it was a night visit at Louvre Museum. I was in Paris for business (as usual) and I discovered how much relaxing it can be, dedicating a couple of hours to visit a museum. In this situation, considering how big is the Louvre, it was just a fraction of it, and I opted for the rooms with Mesopotamian Art and Near Eastern Antiquities. With Pamuk’s words in mind, I walked Theron the huge rooms with antiquities from the near east, the ancient Mesopotamia, corresponding today more or less to the south east of Turkey and the whole Iraq. Two regions, especially the latter, a bit problematic (just to use an “euphemism”).

“Time transformed into space” … Walkink between these two fantastic sculptures of “Lamassus”, Assyrian protective deities with human head, birds wings and bulls’ bodies, I felt myself catapulted back some thousands of years ago. It wasn’t the XXI century anymore, as well as I wasn’t anymore at the Louvre museum, in the heart of Paris. I remember the feeling of time becoming irrelevant, since I felt such as I was really “there”, being part of that room, arriving in Dur-Sharrukin or Nineveh, and finding these magnificent sculptures in front of my eyes. And yes, time had been transformed into space.

However, once the situation was “re-contextualized”, here I was back to reality. And reality can be very drammatic sometimes… Unfortunately, the former Dur-Sharrukin is today’s Khorsabad, 15 kilometers northeast of Mosul. That region today is taken in hostage by an absurd bunch of idiot criminals, that consider art as a threat and have – among their absurd missions – the objective of cancelling the past. Why? Let me consider once again Pamuk’s word: if the intention of the so called Daesh (or Isil, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or whatever) is to destroy antiquities and cancelling every form of art on their land, could it be because they want avoiding for the others the experience related to the transformation of time into space?

Definitely, yes. Because living the dimension of time without the one of space, and even more avoiding the transformation of time into space, means being separated (“decontextualized”) from our roots, forgetting hour heritages , symbolically “cancelling the world around ourselves”. In few words, it means living being basically disconnected from everything, and therefore being more vulnerable to the attacks – not only physical, but also “spiritual”, religious – of people who want exclusively to exercise their pressures on others’ minds. Isn’t it terrible?

To conclude, now it becomes clear why the sentence of Orhan Pamuk is extremely important and very, very powerful. I believe It’s a strong antidote against those terrorists that are threatening not only our civilization, but also our heritage: indeed, as long as there is a place on earth where time can still be transformed into space, in that place there will always be hope for understanding who we are, where we come from and – most important – who we do not want to be.

Unfortunately, on 8 March 2015 the ISIL – Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, started the demolition of Dur-Sharrukin, according to Kurdish officials: the Iraqi Tourism and Antiquities Ministry launched the related investigation on the same day.

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The Supremacy of Man Over Other Creatures (at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris)

Paris (France). As in my previous post, this is the result of some hours spent playing with a Leica Summicron-M 1:2/50 lens at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, inside the Gallery of Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (Les galeries d’anatomie comparée et de paléontologie).

Parigi. Come nel mio post precedente, questo è il risultato di alcune ore passate giocando con un obbiettivo Leica Summicron-M 1:2/50 al Museo Nazionale di Storia Naturale, all’interno della Galleria di Paleontologia e di Anatomia Comparata (Les galeries d’anatomie comparée et de paléontologie).


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Milan (Italy). The “Fuorisalone” is always a great opportunity to take interesting photos: for many days, the city hosts an incredible number of events, exhibitions, installations and every possible thing related to design and architecture. I could walk around Milan only on Saturday and Sunday, since in the days before I was abroad in a business trip. However, I collected here some photographs captured “around me”, as usual…

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The Euler Hermes Building (Paris – La Défense)

Paris (France). I always bring at least one camera with me and normally, unless I know I will have the opportunity of dedicating half an hour to shooting around (and then I will bring a dedicated camera plus some lenses) I use the Ricoh GR: fast, precise and perfectly fitting in my pocket.

Some days ago, I was again staying at the Melia Hotel La Défense (here there’s another photo taken from the hotel’s sky bar) and my room was facing the back of the Euler Hermes head quarter’s building. Since it was around 7 PM, lights in the building were still switched on and the offices were fully illuminated, although there were very few people inside. Attracted by that sort of modern “honeybee farm”, I darkened my room and I staid several minutes watching an unusual “landscape”.

Two things were hypnotizing me. The first one, its geometries (it’s pretty normal in my case). But the second one was represented by all the possible stories nested within that context: how many stories of success, of failure, of career, of ambition, of frustration have been told in those offices? Not to mention private life stories, loves, jealousies, friendships and so on. In a certain sense – I hope I’m able to explain myself and make my thoughts clear – I found this glassed wall, especially if combined with the illuminated interiors, like a sort of disclosure to my eyes of the “office life”: something that from inside, with all those walls and doors, cannot be perceived.

Maybe I’m too romantic. Or probably, I was a bit stressed for the day and I just wanted to relax a bit, thinking about something else and disconnecting my mind from business affairs. In any case, I found in the interiors of the Euler Hermes offices an interesting subject: before the lights were off, I took my camera and photographed the scene to share it here.

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Ticket Window of Haydarpasa

Istanbul (Turkey). Haydarpasa Gar was the major train station in Istanbul and was serving the Istanbul – Baghdad and Istanbul – Medina lines, as well as the Istanbul – Ankara one. It was built in 1909, and it became one of the busiest rail terminal in the entire Asia. Today, Haydarpasa Station is a very silent place, almost unrealistic: no people – except for a couple of tourists – and commercial activities completely closed (I just saw a barber shop and a restaurant open). Probably, the Haydarpasa Station will become the Ankara – Istanbul high speed train line station; others say that the entire building will be transformed in a luxury hotel. I don’t know: it’s not easy to have information about the official master plan. I can only hope that Haydarpasa will not cancel its heritage to become something completely different. It would be a big loss for Istanbul.

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