Luca Setti Fine Art Photographer

IT / EN

Project Morfeo

I owe the inspiration for this series to my son, who was 1 year old at the time I took the pictures.
Every night I used to carry him on my bicycle and ride around town, in the hope that he would get asleep.
We used to make the same route, passing through peripheral areas of the small Italian town where we live: a landscape that I always felt to be impersonal, ordinary, to some degree often alienating; the typical suburban landscape that is the true unifying element of the periphery of developed countries. Yet to my son such landscape was an endless source of wonder and curiosity. I watched him showing interest for simple things like a mound of earth left over from a construction site, a pebble on the road, a worn fence and understood that everything to him was pure discovery.
At first I believed it to be a typical childish behavior and did not give much thought about it. To my excuse I was almost always just too tired from work, from being a parent, and from the stress of daily life, and I just wanted to find a way to get my son to sleep.
But, as days went by, his way of seeing things made me wonder if I too could feel something similar towards the landscape where my life daily unfolded.
And so, after I put my kid to bed, I started to take my bicycle and go out again, this time with camera and tripod instead, and visit those places I had visited earlier with my son.
In this way I believe I was able to awaken a sort of primordial, naive sight, something that I thought was forever lost because of age, but that in reality was still there, only hidden after being neglected for so many years.
In these pictures, through the lens of myth, of dream, I transform the suburban landscape where I spend my daily life.
The night was very important in this process, because at night things lose their daily meaning and become a sort of “tabula rasa” upon which I could project a personal web of meanings, my own unconscious.
I decided to name this series Morfeo (Italian for: Morpheus), because the name is associated with  dream, fantasy. The word also sounds like “morph” and so one can link it to the concept of transformation. Finally Morpheus, according to Greek mythology, was son of Hypnos, the personification of sleep; that same sleep that I was hoping my son would get during our journeys through the night.

Posted by Luca Setti on 19/02/2018
in: Latest photographs, Projects
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