Fine Art Photography Daily

Mauro Curti: Riturné

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©Mauro Curti

This week we are looking at the work of artists who submitted projects during our most recent call-for-entries. Today, Mauro Curti and I discuss Riturné.

Growing up in a small village close to the Alps, his agricultural background and love for nature have been guiding his interests and his journey as a photographer towards themes linked to rural landscapes and all forms of life related to nature and the everyday and the ordinary life without any geopolitical boundaries.

After several jobs in different sectors, he took a course in photography before leaving Italy for a research trip focused on the practice of the use of the photographic medium traveling around Central and South America for several years. He settled in Buenos Aires in 2015 where he deepened his photographic studies approaching analog photography.  At the end of 2019, he returned to his hometown and started working on his long time project Riturné, for which he won a scholarship to study a master’s degree in Documentary Photography at TAI University (URJC) in Madrid.

His work has won several awards and been showcased at the Fine Arts Circle of Madrid, the Villa Borghese Gallery in Rome, Photo Collective Festival in Melbourne, Australia, BFoto Festival in Spain, Photometria Festival in Greece, Les Boutographies Festival in Montpellier, France, and the Image Festival of Amman, in Jordan.

Follow Mauro Curti on Instagram: @maurocurti_

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©Mauro Curti


Having grown up in a small village, close to the Alps, my agricultural background and love for nature led me to be interested in rural landscapes and all forms of life related to nature. My work attempts to capture the ordinary world and daily life of my village through a creative process that is influenced by being outdoors and exploring my own environment. This perspective  allows me to be both outside and inside what I photograph without the restrictions of any geopolitical boundaries.

Photography is a necessity for me, an instrument to transmit my perception of the world. It’s a way to connect with what is in front of my eyes in a more perceptive and empathetic way allowing me to forget even myself. Taking the camera means to start a very intimate and personal exploration and, at the same time, I feel that it is a universal tool of communication. This duality is what intrigues me most in photography.

Everything deserves to be in the world and to be observed, to be photographed. There is no place without interest. An image can stop time, catch the viewer’s gaze and offer him a personal interpretation of it. To do this, I continuously try to ‘undress’ the frame in order to obtain the simplest possible means of communication. From my point of view, the more intimate and simple an image is, the more universal it is. Photography can convey messages to the observer, which through another medium would not be possible to reveal, with an attractive visual approach that does not necessarily document reality directly, since sometimes the appearance and the message are very different. What is there, what can be seen, always invites you to be a witness to a new dimension of reality that is magically revealed in front of our eyes.

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©Mauro Curti

Daniel George: What prompted you to return and photograph within your hometown of Cuneo as a means of establishing a new connection?

Mauro Curti: Every decision involves a journey. You have to leave, but you also have to come back, and you come back different, simply because you have experienced life from a different perspective. Home is a static point linked to the family. It is where our identity begins to develop and, as a result, everything we experience is anchored by a strong sense of belonging. The importance of the journey is that it invites us to question our roots. I took mine out of the land that witnessed me grow and I explored the roads that the horizon offered me away from home. When I returned, everything I had put on hold, my feelings, my longings, my frustrations, were simply there welcoming me back. I chose to connect myself to this new reality through photography. Doing so has forced me to be present and to get back in touch with myself but in a deeper way.

The gaze needs the past, the symbols in which we identify ourselves, but the camera is pure present and that has allowed me to connect with the land and the human being in an anthropological sense. By doing so, by leaving my own personal history and looking at what is outside of me, I have begun another kind of travel, one that allows me to understand, to accept, and to heal my relationship with everything that made me leave.

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©Mauro Curti

DG: You write that your interests in photography are informed by your background in agriculture. In what ways does photography enhance your experience being outdoors and allow you to explore more in depth the relationship between humans and the environment?

MC: The camera has been  an instrument to get me out of my comfort zone. To be, here and now. It has enabled me to go out and discover the natural environment with all my attention. To travel around my province, to return to places I knew and to discover those I dont yet know. It has allowed me to establish a dialogue with people. In doing so, I discovered what it means to observe the lives of others with attention and respect. Photography for me is not just about the moment that is captured, but about the succession of small moments that make up the process of taking the photo. Time as a mirror of our own nature, one that is discovered by paying attention to the details.

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©Mauro Curti

DG: As you have a significant time away from Cuneo, what insights on the themes of “memory, absence, and home” have you gained since completing this project?

MC: I am currently traveling and working on a new photographic project, but everything I am looking for is related to the notion of home, a constant search linked to my roots.

In a song Facundo Cabral sings: “I’m not from here, I’m not from there, I’m not old enough.” I identify with that feeling of not being from anywhere and from everywhere at the same time. Perhaps because that process of research continues and will continue as long as I keep moving, freezing moments of memory, absence and home through my camera.

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©Mauro Curti

DG: In this series, you balance interiors, portraits, and landscape photographs as a means of illustrating a sense of place. Would you talk us through your process, and the significance of some of these images as it relates to the narrative you are creating? What do they represent to you?

MC: If we talk about interiors and landscape, if I am being 100% honest, there is always an attempt to return to the images of my childhood that are burned in my memory. It was a time of illusion and daydreaming, where I could enjoy a family environment where different generations lived together. In some way, with my photographs, I always seek to materialize memories. If I see a kitchen, I go back to the memories of my childhood with my mother. If I see a wooden chair, it is something that makes me go back to the moments I spent with my grandparents in their country house. There is always a connection with the past through space and objects. Perhaps the photographic act is, in my case, like a very ephemeral sense of deja vu, which occurs both at the moment of taking the picture and when holding it in my hand.

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©Mauro Curti

DG: I was drawn to the quality of these photographs—created in part by the light and time of year that the images were made. They do feel slightly surreal, despite being fairly objective depictions. How do you feel this relates to the idea of history, or as you write, “what sooner or later will all disappear?”

MC: I feel that what I see in front of me is something that is present but that sooner or later will disappear. What can be seen and what is there but there is always something else, something linked to the atmosphere. Light helps me to reinforce the power of color. For me, it is important to evoke a reality of something that is no longer there. That’s why analog is a great ally, because the power of the process helps me to create that atmosphere that connects my images.

Something interesting is that I always have the tendency to focus on a type of color that is not often found nowadays.If you look at my photographs there are soft colors, pastel colors that refer to another era. This allows me to evoke the calmness and the cozy atmosphere that is related to childhood. This produces a balance between the objective reality and the evoked reality, creating a space where the gaze is outside of time.

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©Mauro Curti

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©Mauro Curti

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©Mauro Curti

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©Mauro Curti

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