Italia MCMXCVIII

gerardlange_italia_headline

In 1998 I received a scholarship from Delta Airlines to attend a study abroad program in Italy. Specifically, while on this program I studied book arts and paper making, but having recently completed my degree requirements in photography I roamed the countryside, camera in hand.
 
This trip was my first time out of the country and I felt intimidated by the many artists and photographers whom had come before me. Everywhere I turned was some sweeping vista or architectural marvel that was oh so familiar from history books. Each time I lifted the camera to my eye it was as though I was looking through someone else's lens - a gaze that was not my own, but borrowed from some master. Instead of replicating the images in my mind, or even sidestepping around these mental pictures, I turned instead to the overlooked back alleys and off the beaten path places not frequented by tourists. These slices from the Italian cities and countryside represent my intimate, often solitary, exploration of what tourists don't travel there to see.