Imagine an alien space mission from a planet of the Sirius Star System to an abandoned industrial zone of Como, a city situated in the North of Italy. The alien photographer named sirio174, used a powerful futuristic camera, called Lomo Lubitel 166U loaded with a Kodak Portra film roll. Yes, no digital, because the future is...analogue! During his journey, he learned the most common language of our planet -- English -- and he wrote this article for us. Read more after the jump!
Hello terrestrial! My name is sirio174 and I’m an alien from a planet of the Sirius star system, who reached you after a long journey in the universe! In order to not get bored during the 8.6 light-years of my travel, I surfed the Internet where I found some terrestrial language courses, some websites of history of British photography, and a very colorful website: this one, the Lomography website. I’m interested in many cross-processed photos posted in this website, because in many of these images your sky appears of purple color, almost like the sky tones of my planet!
During my few hours of time on Earth, I took some photos in a place with temperate climate, which is located in 45 degree North longitude and 9 East latitude. This place is called Como. I’m glad to observe that many young people use very ecological two-wheel means of transportation…easy to ride for you, but very difficult for me…I have three legs!
This kind of vegetation is very similar to those found on my planet, where it is cultivated for food. I see that you prefer to use it for decorative purposes along the walls!
When I took these photos, I wanted to make a tribute to a work of British photographer Peter Mitchell, that I found on internet and called A New Refutation of the Viking IV Lander where he documented his city Leeds as seen by Martian aliens! He mounted these images on space charts, so they seem like images from a space mission. So, during my long journey, I printed a mask with a similar coordinate grid for my Lubitel!
As he documented the evolution of Leeds at the end of the 1970s, in this series of photos I show you the end of the industrial era of Como. In these images you can see the ruins of a textile industrial building that was demolished recently.
After visiting the Mitchell’s exhibition, his friends Martin Parr was inspired to switch from b&w to color photography. This was the first serious color photography exhibition he saw, and the whole concept of this series of photos was dear to Parr’s heart, as written in the introduction in his masterpiece The Last Resort.
Always during my journey, I found in the internet this nice interview of Mitchell. You can read about his new book, Strangely Familiar, a monograph of his work.
Now, it’s time for me to return to my planet. I hope to meet you again!
A Salute to the Masters is a series dedicated to great photographers that I like. I posted other tributes for Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Helen Levitt, Ernst Haas, Stephen Shore, Gabriele Basilico, Robert Adams, Thomas Struth, J.H. Lartigue, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Frank, Gianni Berengo Gardin, André Kertész, Willy Ronis, Brassaï, Rodchenko, Dan Graham, Henry Grant, William Eggleston, Dennis Stock, Martin Parr and Izis Bidermanas. I especially love street photography and urban architectural photography.