2018, Volume inserted in slipcase
Bilingual: Italian / English
21x29 cm, 64 pages
Babel is a visual meditation on the use of photography through two of the most relevant examples in today’s capitalistic society: billboard advertising (as seen in the Paris underground) and Daesh propaganda imagery (as seen in Dabiq). The project aims at combining two contrasting and apparently antithetic messages. It attempts a portrayal of the war which is being fought – by unprecedented means, on unprecedented fields – between a Western civilisation, which is losing its identity, and an alleged Caliphate, which proposes a whole array of radical moral values, by distorting one of the world’s most widespread religions. Are we neutral spectators or oblivious hostages? Babel was born from this question. From the impression that we are all like coloured pieces of chalk, writing a story that we are not conscious of. Powerless individuals caught up in a larger event despite ourselves, unmindful witnesses living through an epochal change. Babel began in 2014 with a study that was initially intended as a homage to the Italian artist Mimmo Rotella. The background of the canvas is thus set. The different images and layers of meaning captured by our eyes every day, sometimes subliminally, have been stratifying on this canvas little by little. Babel is a listening place for the notes resonating in our subconscious, for the sudden changes in our inner rhythms, where images remain fluid both in shape and content. The outcome is a digital manipulation, a meta-photography which gives birth to a hypothetical world living within the frame of the format that we have chosen. The dissection of confetti-like messages, which are ironically and provocatively compared. A blending of the estrangement on which the master communicators base their campaigns.
Stefano De Luigi
Born in Cologne in 1964, Italian photographer Stefano De Luigi currently lives in Paris and started his career working for the Grand Louvre Museum as a photographer from 1989 to 1996. He has published 5 books: Pornoland (Thames & Hudson-2004), Blanco (Trolley, 2010), and iDyssey (Edition Bessard 2017), Babel (Postcart, 2018), Pornoland Redux (2021).
His numerous awards include four World Press Photo awards (1998, 2007, 2010, 2011), the Eugene Smith fellowship grant (2008), the Getty Grant for editorial photography, the Days Japan International Photojournalism Award (2010), and the Syngenta Photography Award (2015). He works regularly with several international publications including The New Yorker, Geo, Paris Match, and Stern, and has exhibited his work in New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Rome, London, Istanbul, and Athens. He has been a member of the VII Agency since 2008.
Born in Palermo in 1982, after obtaining a Masters Degree in Modern Philology at the University of Palermo in 2008, she moved to Milan to work on photography. In 2012 her book Storie di Mafia was published by Postcart Edizioni. In 2013, she moved to New York, where she later graduated from the International Center of Photography (ICP). Her works have been exhibited both in Italy and abroad. In 2018 Babel, with Stefano De Luigi, was published by Postcart Edizioni. She lives in Milan.
M.Luisa Gaetani d'Aragona