Bizarre or trending subjects, catch a break with our curiosity of the week. Italian photographer Nicola Bertasi fashioned futuristic postcards. A series of collages intertwining past and present pandemics.

“We have received mysterious postcards from the future, addressed to the citizens of our virulent times”, writes Nicola Bertasi. Where do these strange objects come from? Is the world prisoner of an endless cycle? The photographer investigated. Confined in Genes, with his son, he dove into the past and discovered – through archives – troubling similarities. “I have used in my collages old American files about the Spanish flu that go back to 1918-1919”, says the artist who, for the first time, put his camera aside to produce this body of work.

Not only historical, the series comes within the scope of “an altered space and time approach”. Blending together pandemics from past and present, Nicola Bertasi creates surreal and amusing cards, confronting us to ancient anxiety. “It is about separating right from wrong, and then merge them together… I wanted to create a stressful situation for the viewer – a problematic that could only be resolved after a long observation of the cards… Let us not forget they come from the future!” he adds.

Learning from the mistakes of the past

The series was born during quarantine. The photographer was then receiving many targeted ads on Instagram, selling “fashionable masks”, “while hundreds of people were dying everywhere in the world. I found this practice foul”, he explains. An outrageous capitalism which made him think of postcards – symbols of consumerism and tourism. A collection of ten unique objects, ready to be exhibited.

Focusing on digital collages, the artist builds complex narratives evoking the importance of memory and inviting the public to learn from the mistakes of the past. Texts and images are layered and build bridges between the 20th century and our modern world. Updates written by Nicola Bertasi denounce the excesses of our society – the hospital crisis, the control through violence, the increase of racist crimes…. With a false lightness, the photographer uses games as a pretext to reflect and question. By decrypting each postcard’s details, we may – finally – find the solution to this oppression…

© Nicola Bertasi