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BOOKS

16.01.2023

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Architectural photography is an exciting genre: the two-dimensional medium has to find convincing ways to best reflect the structure and spatial volume of the objects being photographed. However, in his new photo book, the Italian photographer never intended to present buildings as solitary or urban locations, but rather to create a complex series of cityscapes. He does this quite literally, because the images he has combined run beyond the edge of each page, and flow seamlessly into the following motif. The effect produced by this endless stream of images is reinforced by the Japanese binding used for the book. The viewer's gaze glides from the first picture of Qingdao, in China, straight on to Moscow; then Tripoli and Manchester, followed by Reggio Emilia and Valencia, and so on, until reaching the street scene in London that makes up the end of the bound leporello. The final scene depicts a pedestrian standing lost on an otherwise deserted street, as though waiting to see what will come next into his field of vision.

The pictures were taken over the last twenty years, in 22 cities in 13 countries – most of them in Italy, but also in Germany, England, France, India, Japan, Lebanon, Libya, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the USA. Taken from his enormous archive of images, Zanta chose 40 motifs. He strung them together in such a manner that it is a challenge, at times, for the passing glance to recognise the transitions. The outcome is a fascinating visual composition, where the rhythm flows from city to city, from interior to exterior, and through different construction eras. The journey moves from glittering post-modern façades to crumbling old buildings, with only the rare appearance of people, who figure more as accessories. It’s All One Song is the promise made by the title: within the book, cities and themes merge into a single piece, revealing the diversity of architecture and promisingly built utopias, as well as more recent capitalist nightmares. This is a photo book with a surprising approach and an extraordinary realisation!  (Ulrich Rüter)

Marco Zanta: It’s All One Song
With text by Stefania Rössl
84 pages in Japanese binding.
40 colour images, 24 x 32.5 cm.
English/Italian, Hartmann
© Marco Zanta

Marco Zanta

Born in Trevisa, Italy, in 1962, Marco Zanta is considered among the best architectural photographers in Italy today. He has been exploring ways in which to photograph urban and industrial spaces, since the eighties. In addition, he works for renowned architectural offices such as John Pawson Studio, Afra e Tobia Scarpa, and Tadao Ando. Zanta has taught at different universities, and has taken part in a number of Venice Biennale. His work has been exhibited worldwide, and is found in various public and private collections.

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