Copyright 2015 Mara Dani
Photographer: Mara Dani (born in Brindisi and resides in Bari, Italy)
Essays: Gian Luigi Sylos Labini and Alessandro Crilillo
Text: Italian and English
Hardcover book with exposed boards and spine, belly band and elastic band closure, two-color offset printing with sewn binding, various papers, pagination and captions, printed by Presso Grafica & Stampa in Italy
Editor and designer: Alessandro Cirillo
Notes: This is a topological body of work, exploring one small region of Italy, which is a subject that also happens to be the city where Dani lives.
Dani’s urban landscape is a black and white photographic investigation using a documentary style of a city situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. She pays attention to the diverse architectural diversity found here but appears to be critical of the post-modern style, with the spaces in between appearing sterile and devoid of individuals. Likewise, perhaps due to her black and white medium, the appearance of the structures are seemingly functional but cold, gray and monotonous. I am reminded of the New Topographic’s work of Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz and Nicholas Nixon.
One of my few objections is that the tight binding does not allow the book to lay flat, but I was not going to break the binding to ensure flat surfaces to re-photograph the interior pages. Thus, no book was harmed in the writing of this review!
This body of work by Dani further exemplifies why it is not necessary to travel far to create an engaging photographic project.