Elegia Fantastica – The Leica camera Blog


The photographer has become known for the magnificent images he takes in the world of celebrities. Even so, he has clearly shown that he is more than just an expert in glitz and glamour; he has produced wonderful and often quiet series, always developing surprisingly creative visual ideas. In his project Elegia Fantastica, the Paris-based photographer refers to his Italian roots with two groups of works: Memories and Visions. In the intense black and white photographs, he embarks on a visual journey into the past, in search of meaningful places. He spoke with us about his role models, his ideas and experiences.

What do you particularly appreciate about black and white photography?
Black and white can powerfully convey the contrasts between light and shadow, and I like to play with them to recreate a scene by searching for a perfect harmony of shapes. Like in classical philosophy and later in the Italian Renaissance, the balance given by the harmony of shapes is the basis for the construction of all my images.

Do you also dream in black and white?
I definitely think I dream in black and white, even though dreams are difficult to remember. Black and white makes the soul of things speak, while colours tell the reality. I like to think I can dream with my soul.

The images in the Memories series are characterized by a timeless elegance.
Yes, the photographs in this section stem from a “humanist” poetics, referring to that European photography that places the human being within his social context. The protagonists of this series are simple people, captured in their everyday life and in these shots. I wanted to tell their truth, their emotions capable of conveying the spirit of a place. The spirit of a place is made up of those who live there and who in their daily lives define its know-how, history, traditions and alchemy. This is why it has no definite time; it is universal. My intention is not to document but to convey the universal of those places in which we can recognise ourselves.

While you preferred your Leica M6 for the Memories series, you worked with a Leica Monochrom for Visions – why?
The series of photographs called Visions comes to life thanks to the technical features of the Leica Monochrom camera, which shoots exclusively in black and white, allowing me to work like a painter. The camera is like a paintbrush and, starting from reality, I can cross the limit of illusion and think of photographs as paintings. Visions is the poetry of the magical concealed in places that through this kind of “pictorial” photography can live in all its power and magic. Blurring erases the boundaries of reality and projects us into another poetic, intimate and, I would say, mystical dimension. Le Marche is a seismic land and becomes a symbol of the uncontrollable power of nature. I have tried to represent this power through this particular technique that does not involve any kind of retouching or post-production, and aims to capture the original power of the cosmos.

What is the relationship between the Memories and Visions series?
The two series are one continuation, one of the other, or rather, the yin and yang, the idea of that existential journey in search of one’s identity that we mentioned above, in which man is each time forced to confront reality and magic. In the Memories series, the emotion of place is sentimental and romantic, while in Visions the earth trembles and everything is charged with a new energy. In all my images I seek balance through inspiration but with this work in particular, I had the opportunity to release the most intimate and deepest part of my vision.

With your poetic photographs, you take the viewer on an exciting journey into the history of photography. Your role models, whom you name yourself, are Mario Giacomelli, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Jacques-Henri Lartigue. What significance do they have for your work?
All artist follow in the footsteps of the great masters who are the most similar to them to create their own language. I have developed my own imagery by studying the three artists mentioned, and each time I try to recount it through my own eyes. I would like to start with Mario Giacomelli, whom I had the honour of meeting personally in Senigallia, in Le Marche, the land where this great artist (and also my father) was born. I share with him a love for this region in central Italy, where nature, humanity and history are in perfect harmony. Le Marche is the land of my origins where, like Giacomelli, I find my home. Giacomelli’s photography is rich in the poetry of this land, and at the same time it conveys that spontaneity of everyday life that characterises Italian neo-realism. Giacomelli’s lesson leads us to the poetry of the moment of the great master Henri Cartier-Bresson. I have always admired his ability to elegantly capture the moment, while revealing its deep meaning. To use his words, I strive to put “the mind, the eyes and the heart” in the same line of sight, every time I shoot, trying, like him, to bring out the poetic humanity of being. All my images then pay homage to Jacques-Henri Lartigue. He taught us the happiness of existing, the ability to always look at life through the enthusiastic eyes of a child. Thanks to Lartigue I’m always able to marvel and maintain in my pictures that lightness that becomes the tool to deal with the complexity of life.

What is special about the selection for the exhibition at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar?
The images from this photographic project were exhibited for the first time in Le Marche, in Jesi, my father’s home town. This work was dedicated to him, to that figure that each one of us must, symbolically, kill at some point to find our own way. After the first major exhibition in Le Marche, Wetzlar is the new way to create a photographic journey dedicated to the spirit of places. The selection was conceived in relation to the place where the photographic series will come to life again.

Emanuele Scorcelletti’s parents come from the Italian regions of Marche and Friuli. He was born in Luxembourg in 1964. He studied at the Institut National de Photographie et Cinématographie (INRACI) in Brussels. Between 1989 and 2009, he belonged to the Gamma Agency in Paris, and even today continues to work as a freelance photographer for magazines, advertising and fashion. The picture he took showing Sharon Stone on the red carpet, in front of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, received the 2003 World Press Photo Award in the Art and Culture category. In addition to portraits and shots taken within the contexts of cinema, fashion and luxury brands, he has always worked on social projects, as well. Scorcelletti’s work has received numerous awards and has been exhibited widely. Find out more about his photography on his website and Instagram channel.

The Elegia Fantastica exhibition runs until September 22 at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar. The accompanying photo book has been published by Hemeria.

Leica M

The Leica. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.





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