Zona – Corpi di Reato

Artist Blog by Nicholas Albrecht

Alessandro Imbriaco and Tommaso Bonaventura (Photographs) Fabio Severo (Text) I was born and raised in Naples, Italy, an area highly affected by organized crime. Often, when asked to explain the crime situation in Italy, the only words I can find are that just about all Italians are part of it. In one way or another you deal with it on a daily basis. You interact with it when you buy your newspaper at the stand, when you get your espresso at the bar, and when you play soccer with your friends. It has become very hard to pinpoint it, or confine it to a specific location or series of actions. One of my best friends in high school was part of it, some of the people I would see on a daily basis in my twenties were part of it, and the people I had to deal with when I opened my business in Naples were part of it. Organized crime in Italy is invisible, or rather, is so integrated within the system that it appears invisible. Corpi di Reato (Body of Evidence) is an incredible project put together by Alessandro Imbriaco, Tommaso Bonaventura, and Fabio Severo. It shows the impact criminal organizations such as the Camorra, Mafia and ‘Ndrangheta (each with different regions as their center) have on the country. The project is accompanied by an extensive text illustrating the scope of the work and explaining the importance of each image. The locations photographed span the length of the country, showing the extent of crime in Italy. Now, when asked about the situation in Italy, I show people this project. The images appear to be “just” images of the Italian periferia (suburbs), interiors of homes, restaurants and bars, street corners, details of objects and affrescos. The text that comes with the images gives us the specifics of these place. Locations where the Italian underworld would launder money, homes that have been confiscated by the police, or locations where the heads of these organizations held elections. What Corpi di Reato does so wonderfully is that it shows us the face of modern day organized crime in Italy. It does so both poetically and scientifically. The images, in their simplicity, show exactly what the problem in Italy is, and how we (Italians) have learned to live with it. The accuracy and depth of the text gives us the facts, which, put next to the images open up a completely new understanding of the country. The relationship between text and images in this case becomes very important. Another important aspect of this work is that it exists as a contrast to the highly romanticized vision of Italy that I have been experiencing here in America, and which probably exists abroad in general. The Italy of rolling Tuscan hills, exquisite wine, beautiful coastal scenery, friendly people and incredible food, is not the only Italy. Along with Guido Guidi’s A New Map of Italy, Corpi di Reato is and will remain an important document attesting to an Italy that most likely only Italians understand. www.zona.org (http://www.zona.org/en/progetti/corpi-di-reato/)

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