Julien Vermeiren and Giacomo Alberico, our readers picks #345, both document the specificity of European cities. In Brussels and Milan, they capture the city dwellers’ interaction with the vestiges of these historic metropolises.
Julien Vermeiren, a 22-year-old Brussels-based former cook, turned to photography during the first lockdown. “My professional activity has been abruptly stopped by the pandemic, so I took the time to explore the photographic medium, and to get my own camera”, he tells us. Fascinated by street photography, the self-taught artist views streets as limitless playgrounds, allowing him to “study everyday life and bring his own vision to it. A kind of artistic photojournalism” he adds. Graphic, minimalist, and sometimes abstract, his images illustrate his urban wanderings, and invite the viewer to contemplate the ordinary with a new eye. “My approach evolves every day. Curious and driven by the desire to create new things, I seek, above all, a unique result, to distinguish myself from what already exists. I buy a lot of photographic books and magazines, which helps me find inspiration, but also tackle my series more professionally. I like this physical relationship to the image, this timeless dimension that the tangible object brings, unlike social networks”, he says. Guided by his desire to experiment and try new practices, Julien Vermeiren builds an intriguing – and already promising – universe.
© Julien Vermeiren
“My artistic practice tries to understand how a photographic image can connect present and past, bring different places close to each other and study the objects and actions carried out, even if only unconsciously, by man in these places over time”, says Italian photographer Giacomo Alberico. Based between Chieti and Lisbon, the artist creates, with Medhelan, a moving work that traces the history of Milan and its modern settlement. In his pictures, modern buildings confront the relics of the past to form spaces of tension where ancient presence is felt. “Medhelan is a visual research that aims to show a stratification of actions, symbols and ephemeral events that took place from the foundation of Milan to the present day, he adds. I sequenced photographs that gave the feeling of looking at a city trying to send us coded messages, through roads dug for work in progress, forgotten sculptures, layers of material and drawings that overlap in a confusing way.” Despite the difficulty of capturing this city due to the predominance of identical residential buildings, Giacomo Alberico developed an original strategy. “I drew a circular line on the map and walk it countless times until something unique to photograph along the way presented itself”. The result is a slow and thoughtful work that measures all the nuances of a city adapting, as best it can, to the rhythm of modern life.
Medhelan © Giacomo Alberico
Cover picture: Medhelan © Giacomo Alberico