That’s the result of a journey from Milan to the northernmost point of continental Europe and back, done at the end of 2015 in order to explore the idea of the limit. It’s a body of work about hope, strength, challenge, exploring human limitations and fears. The landscape is shown in a lyrical way, avoiding any temporal and geographical connotation.
The images within the book have a slow aching about them. They suggest a throb of bleak continuity without completely surrendering to nihilism. Though I would not suggest that the images are existential by means of an enforced and tyrannical “darkness”, I would suggest that di Giovanni’s story and his text within the book is about loss, physicality and the way in which he uses photography to seek an outlet for an underlying pathos captured in a bittersweet series of memories, which are now being used to relate to his place within the world, be it automotive or other. The color palette he works from, which is completely intentional (not incidental) seeks to downplay a viscous saturation commonly found in “Road Books”-this intentional use of color by photographers is presumably to play from advertisements and sun-kissed California dreams, the lost generation lost in a baby-boomer retrograde assumption that Westward expansion brings hope even at the edges of the nothingness that we follow along that asphalt line. However, Matteo is not in America. His road, however uneven is in northern Europe, Scandinavian Europe, a Europe of forests, of desolation and redemption found through isolated contemplation. The weather humbles his lens and the color film he uses and the results, even when the smallest amount of light cracks the sky are subdued. Ryan McGinley would not last long here, yet Joachim Brohm or JH Engstrom would prevail.
From the review by Brad Feuerhelm published on American Suburb X