Michele Vittori’s (b. 1980) series Una Provincia shows us a side of Italy we do not often see while at the same time being classically and recognisably Italian. The Fiat 500s and Alfa Romeos are there, but they are rusty and dilapidated. The beautiful landscapes and architecture aren’t depicted in an expected way either, the nature muted in its autumn and winter garb. In this, Vittori achieves a rare feat: his work is both classic and surprising.
In this series set in the northern parts of Lazio, not far from Rome, humans are conspicuous in their absence; the province here has an aging, solitary quality to it, the brilliant colours of the past faded long ago. But there is a certain beauty to it: just as recognising that solitude and loneliness are not synonyms, it takes a special sensitivity to convey the beauty of deterioration without fetishizing decay and destruction.