2015 - 2019
“See Both Sides” @ Viasaterna (project room)
“Seeing Double” @ Metronom (Live Studio residence)
“The White Room The Black Room” @ Spazio Duale Roma
“Gluqbar” @ Chiostri di San Domenico, curated by Daniele De Luigi & Ilaria Campioli
“Darkroom” @ Centrale Festival, curated by Marco Paltrinieri
“Looking On - Sguardi e Prospettive sulla Nuova Fotografia Italiana” @ MAR (invitation by Federica Chiocchetti, project by Osservatorio Fotografico)
“Sideways” @ Fotografia Europea Festival
“Mo[t]us Operandi” @ Minimum (Manifesta collaterals) “Retina” @ Gluqbar Milano
“Future Shock” @ Fonderia Napoleonica (curated by Francesca Marani & Marco Gehlhar)“Dancing in Peckham” @ Peckham 24
“Centrale Festival” @ The Other Fair Torino
“Mōmentum” @ Nesxt Torino
Winner of Energie Diffuse Grant
Portfolio Review Prize NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
Cosmos PDF Award Les Rencontres d'Arles
Premio Francesco Fabbri
GiovaniArtistiItaliani Fotografia Europea
Aperture Photobook Review
ATP Diary Interview
Bookshops: Printed Matter NYC (featured at Printed Matter booth NYABF2019 @ MoMA PS1), Yvon Lambert Paris, Walther Koenig, The Photographers Gallery London, Motto Berlin, Leporello Rome, Bruno Venice, Versolibri Milano, LibriDiSam Reggio Emilia, Gluqbar Milano..
The work “Vietnik” addresses the intrinsic duality of the photographic medium and its tie to the performative construction of identities. “Photography is the advent of myself as other: a cunning dissociation of the awareness of identity”. Vietnik is a musical pseudonym, a proxy, a cyborg in the inescapable extension of the self through technology, a “self-portrait as a building and bildung”.
Vietnik deals with leitmotifs such as the “doubling”; the stratification of graphic and photographic languages; the possible convergences between the new uses of photography and its tradition; the music-image synesthesia; the creation of a cohesive body of work and its decontextualization by Internet distribution.
The book's structure emulates and subverts the increasingly popular Hollywood format of the biopic. How does this trend of today cultural consumer is connected to the performative construction of social identities? How much of the author appears in the photographed “persona” (“mask” - Latin, “public image” - English)?
All the images are shot with a personal close-range and graphic composition, with a language similar to the icono-textual superimpositions in the urban and online accelerated flat mediascape. The photo-text interplay is evident both in the book and the site-specific installations.
“A clever visual bildungsroman where, lurking behind his semiotic images, we find layers of the young artist’s influences..” – Aperture PhotobookReview by Federica Chiocchetti
“Viasaterna presents Luca Massaro’s project room See Both Sides with a selection of photographs, lightboxes, pictures from his last publication Vietnik, revisited with a new text-based intervention. The relationship between word and photography in Massaro’s work will be deepened during November 11th during a conversation with the critic and curator Federica Chiocchetti (founder of the photo-literary platform Photocaptionist). The second room of the exhibition presents a site-specific light installation that will be activated with a musical performance on the finissage day (..) See Both Sides reflects the duality of Luca Massaro's artistic work. The first clue is provided by the name of his photobook, which corresponds to the musical pseudonym that the artist had used for his SoundCloud platform. Vietnik comes from the epithet given to Bob Dylan in a dialogue of the famous film Masculin Féminin by Jean-Luc Godard, recognized as the crasis of Vietnam and Beatnik, to indicate the opposition between the known conflict and the beat generation. In the publication Vietnik (Gluqbar Editions, 2019), as in a musical refrain, this theme occurs as the double and the coexistence of opposites.” – Viasaterna Press Release
“In Vietnik Luca Massaro rewrites the classical american tour imagery in a performative and meta-identity tone.” – Domus
“..in his latest work, Vietnik (2019), Massaro reflects on the representation of his persona through a refined narrative system, where images, that for compositional care and attention recall the masters of analogue photography, are linked together in a complex rhizomatic system that remembers the network's connecting spaces. Linking past and present of visual research in a continuous game of references and stratifications, the images produced by Massaro mix personal experience and imaginative dimension thus becoming ambiguous “multiples” of the author.. Following this logic, Darkoom expands the universe of Vietnik in an installative form, introducing the sound element, another central language in Massaro’s practice as well as in his life. The title forces two worlds that seem to be at odds to a curious coexistence: nostalgic fetishism for film photography, and club culture darkrooms. This unresolved tension represents the ideal point of access to Massaro's work, a metaphor and laboratory of a continuously evolving personality.” – Marco Paltrinieri
“Luca is a very young artist, whose work focuses on the concept of duality and doubling in the photographic medium, and in particular on the relationship between text and image. A graduate in Foreign Literatures, Communication and Media from the Università Cattolica of Milan and the Sorbonne in Paris, it is not surprising that his journey led him to a semantic reflection on the use of photography, on how this affects our daily perceptions and, as he himself says, on the invisible space that separates a photograph from the caption". – Vogue Interview
2010 - 2014
solo exhibition at F4 Treviso
curated by Gianpaolo Arena and Carlo Sala
"quasi-quasi" solo exhibition/performace at Matèria Gallery, Rome
Twenty14 Contemporary, Milano
Fondazione Benetton, Treviso
book exhibited "2016 - Sulla Nuova Fotografia Italiana" @Viasaterna Milano
"New Italian Photobooks" @JEST Torino
Online text by Darren Campion
printed afterword text by 3/3
(Chiara Capodici & Fiorenza Pinna)
Photocaptionist best books of 2015
by Federica Chiocchetti
Nuova Fotografia Italiana @ Flash Art Italia
winner of Premio Nascimben Prize U25 2014
Foto Grafia is a journey into a photographic encyclopedia within the nuances and clichés of today’s images: an open-ended rebus which can be seen as a typography collection, the diary of a wannabe writer or an ironic photographic manual. Foto Grafia hybridizes image and word and takes different languages to their extremes, creating a short circuit of form and content, signifier and signified. Photographed between 2010 and 2014 in Europe and Japan and published in 2015 by Danilo Montanari Editore, Foto Grafia is Massaro's first monograph, made-to-read "at the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia".
(2010 - ongoing)
Encyclopedic collection of photographed words
The title refers to "La Tendenza", a "movement of ideas" celebrated in an exhibition held in 2012 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and focusing on Italian architecture between 1965 and 1985.
The ambiguity of the word (“the trend” in English) is the starting and meeting point between architecture commission and installation, historic movements and fleeting trends, past and future perfect. Archetypal forms (circle, triangle, square) and colors (yellow, cement, red stone) are repeated as refrains, highlighting some peculiar characteristics of Milanese architectures from "La Tendenza”, its forerunners and imitators.
For "La Tendenza", Massaro draws from his experience as a commercial photographer, blurring the boundaries between commission and installation, page and wall, commercial and personal work. “La Tendenza”, which was born as a commission, becomes a personal portrait of the ambitions and failures of this architectural period; photographing means documenting but also "fashioning" a series of stratified "traces" from the past, dealing with a present that is already other than itself, as it conditions and connotes the future.
"La Tendenza" juxtaposes three different times and three photographic formats, responding to the space in which it is presented: the duration of the architecture, the pre-vision of trends, the instantaneousness of photography.
Edicola Radetzki Milano
Triennale Milano (Confotografia)
Urban Center Bologna
Scuola Architettura Siracusa
Biennale Spazio Pubblico Roma
Little Big Press - FotoGrafia Festival, MACRO
On Landscape #2 - Matèria Gallery Rome
Book by Gluqbar Editions
(final text by Sabrina Ragucci)
Ongoing Project for Gluqbar Identity
Interactive game online by Gluqbar Editions
with the support of Confotografia residency
L’Aquila & La Rana | The Eagle & The Toad
According to several scientific studies, hundreds of frogs deserted their mating place in the days before the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy. An ancient legend attributed the occurrence of an earthquake to the jumps of a giant frog, carrying the Earth on its back. Zheng Heng, Chinese scientist, invented in 132 a seismograph called Didong Yi, at the base of which eight frogs were represented. As an experiment of bestiary in the book-format of a newspaper, the artist book investigates in what terms the prevision of natural phenomena, synchronicity and the imaginary (The Frog) is related to the vision of the natural world, the real time and the documentary (The Eagle).
"Dans le langage en émulsion, les mots sautent au hasard, comme dans les marécages primitifs nos grenouilles d’ancêtres bondissaient selon les lois d’un sort aléatoire" - Jean-Pierre Brisset via Michel Foucault.
Ukiyo-e (浮世絵 literary "images of the floating world") refers to a Japanese mass production art print technique on wooden blocks, born in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka in the 17th century, before "the age of mechanical reproduction". The "floating world" is the representation of the new Japan: the word is also an ironic allusion the homophone religious term (憂き世), "the suffering world" of Buddhism and tradition. Ukiyo-e was influenced by the Western culture and in turn inspired the European Impressionism. These photographs, as visual haikus from a trip to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka in 2012, purely portrays the Western perception of Japanese culture and viceversa, at the intersection of nature and culture, tradition and industrialization, representation and imagination.
"I was taking a picture without knowing that in the 15th century Basho had written: 'The willow sees the heron's image... upside down.' The commercial becomes a kind of haiku to the eye, used to Western atrocities in this field; not understanding obviously adds to the pleasure. For one slightly hallucinatory moment I had the impression that I spoke Japanese, but it was a cultural program on NHK about Gérard de Nerval." - Chris Marker
collaboration with Massimiliano Savino, OST by Dumbo Gets Mad
Studiò - 37 Rue Breguet, Paris 2012
Energie Diffuse, Chiostri San Domenico Reggio Emilia 2018