Central of Italy Earthquake, August 24th 2016
In the middle of the night, in the city, one wakes up to the jolting of beds and the falling of paintings. In the middle of the night one rushes into the street after the quake and looks around to see if everything has remained standing or has tumbled down. In the middle of the night one turns on the car radio and listens for the first fragments of news; you begin to feel the proximity of the turmoil. In the middle of the night one understands, it is only twenty kilometer that divides the survivors from the victims. Nevertheless until one sees the signs of the disaster you do not fully understand, no oral or written description can make people understand as an image can. Beyond the news stories or voyeurism of those who have not lived through the event and want to see what they have escaped by chance alone, it’s about trying to understand how a catastrophe unfolds in space, between mountains, trees, roads, bridges, houses and bodies. On the morning of August 24, the photographer Andrea Vagnoni left for the epicenter of the earthquake, crossing Pescara del Tronto, Amatrice, Fonte del Campo, Illica, Saletta and in each of these places, he captured in his shots that which was now missing, the gaps and spatial imbalances in contrast with the clusters of rocks and the heaps of material. Gutted houses nakedly displayed the daily invisibility of bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens, rubbles of homes that came down instantly and cars crushed by blocks that were once walls. It’s a breathtaking contrast, and one hasn’t the capability to understand how those same dismantled materials piled up on the ground, shortly before were compact and vertically built to support and protect. At this point there is a new and shocking realization: the emptiness of the lacerated houses is personified by the absence of bodies and the disrespect of the invasive rubble that signifies the presence of those bodies now hidden under it.
He was born in Ascoli Piceno in 1980. He begins to photograph for curiosity, then he realizes that photography allows him to express himself and deeply come down to confront himself, the others and the surrounding.