BOOK OF THE MONTH

04.09.2017

|
Share:
The music has stopped, the last show is over, the club is closed – since 2015 there have been no concerts at the BTOMIC, a small, underground club in La Spezia, close to Genoa, Italy. The money ran out after four years, forcing the four operators to give up. One of those music enthusiasts, however, is Jacopo Benassi, and now, two years later, he has published a photographic homage to his club – a small printed memorial.

The black and white pictures do not, in fact, show the many musicians who played at the 70 square metre club; rather the photographer repeatedly turned his camera to the listeners. They lounge in comfortable armchairs, sit at tables with a glass of wine, or stand directly in front of the improvised stage. They wait curiously for the performance to begin, observe critically, or appear to rock to the beat. At times skeptical, at times euphoric, each performance is duly acknowledged.

The music must have been as diverse as the audience: young and old, men and women, in leather pants, jeans or suits, Barbie shirts or flowery dresses, winter coats or summer shorts. Even though you can not hear the music or see the musicians themselves, the photographs reveal the special atmosphere of a live performance so successfully that the link between the musicians and listeners is tangible.

These portraits of the public are accompanied by still-lifes taken at the club: a stack of chairs, cracked wall tiles, lamps, a chair, an improvised ping-pong table, and even instruments waiting for a performance. Nothing special, in fact, and yet it is these pictures that capture the venue’s unique and special atmosphere. The photographer has also put in his own appearance within the pages: properly framed, some of his photographs hang on the walls, including a self-portrait where he stands naked with a pair of shower sandals in his hand.

The title of the book, The Eyes Can See What The Mouth Can Not Say, comes from the original fanzine that Benassi produced and sold at the club, introducing the musicians that were to perform. This magazine has also been gone for a long time.  
The lights at the BTOMIC are out, but the music plays on – in people’s memories ad in this refined little book.
Ulrich Rüter

116 pages, 54 B&W pictures/dual-tone, 17 x 23 cm, English,
500 copy edition, Peperoni Books

Jacopo Benassi

Born in 1970, the Italian photographer, Jacopo Benassi, takes pictures for magazines such as Rolling Stone, Wired and GQ. His pictures have been on display in numerous exhibitions and he also writes the TALKINASS blog.

www.instagram.com/talkinass
Share this page:
STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LFI NEWS CHANELS: GET THE LFI APP:
lfi
on facebook
lfi
newsletter
lfi
app
close