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Massimo Gurciullo



After the first edition of “Sicily” in 2017 for the Portuguese publishing house “The unknown books”, the project, thanks to its success with the public, has evolved into an annual magazine. Large format and printed on fine gloss coated paper, and in 2021 this time for a small Sicilian publisher (FSL edizioni) “Sicily # 2” sees the light of day, and later in 2022 “Sicily # 3”.

The work takes shape as a kind of diary for the photographer, a Sicilian by birth, who explores his “tragic and poetic” land, a bluesy Sicily.

This is not the Sicily of the best-known clichés, but a different way of looking at Sicily, in a land that has seen 13 dominations in its history, where tragedy is almost a living spirit. In 2023 “Sicily # 4” and number 5 has just been published this year.

“Don’t go to sleep. The night is dense, cruel, impenetrable, you have to stay on the lookout, clinging to the slightest points of light, and keep wandering until dawn. Sicily, by photographer Massimo Gurciullo, is the code name for a land that is wild and baroque, Catholic and pagan, clannish and sensual”. (Fabien Ribery)

It’s impressive how the images manage to convey a sense of solitude, offering us a complex approach to existence. Photography has always been a solitary activity. As Jean Baudrillard said, you have to look for a poetic transfer to produce the emotion of reality in a photograph. My photos represent an accidental encounter between the tragic and the poetic.

Reading Sicily #3, you get the impression that the photographer has crossed paths with Nobuyoshi Araki and Martin Parr, borrowing the best from both, because Massimo’s images have a trashy aesthetic, like a vital, ironic Do It Yourself. ( Frèderic Martin)

“As a writer he’s also a strong reader, a good photographer must love the work of his great colleagues and, it must be said, Gurciullo declines well every lesson absorbed. In his photographs Sicily, be it represented by her children – the impromptu portraiture is painful and poetic – or the glimpses that seem to break out of an enveloping darkness, refers to the great lesson of Moriyama, to his “constructions” fast and nervous , as something to capture before it vanishes to deliver it in full to the contemporaneity of a visual grammar or, alternately, to the D’Agata “quick visions”.

(Giuseppe Cicozzetti – Scriptphotography)

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