Urban Hives focuses on the high population density agglomerations in some of the countries with the highest number of citizens in the world, narrating the urban developement. The lack of humanity is intended to highlight the presence of humanity itself, but also to emphasise how much urban and technological innovations erode the tradition and dehumanize the environment; which tends to conceptually look like a hive, inhabited by thousands of anonymous worker bees, left without any hint of personality in the presence of the social machine they are devoted to serve. The aim is to reveal and make visible some parts of the big towns that we see but we usually don't watch; and even if the artworks can have multiple viewpoints, the artist doesn't want to send out a social message - for which he lefts free interpretation to the audience - but he rather performs an artistic act, though more conceptual than aesthetic.
Observed from above, the cities take on a different aspect in which the buildings dominate, enabling the viewer to understand the rational geometry that characterizes them, their relationship with the surrounding countryside, and to see the wide streets or the rivers running through them. It is not important that we should recognize the places, as each of them represents a type that could be attributed to many other ones. Instead, the photography here is a means to let our eyes wander at will as if they had wings, but also to give full rein to our imagination, as we naturally try to envisage the life happening down there, in the labyrinth of streets, in those squares and those parks where we are unable to make out the details.
Venice is not only the Bridge of Sighs, Rialto, Piazza San Marco; it is the silence of the lagoon, immersed in a sea of marshland, where time seems suspended.
His pieces are portraits of islands where the buildings are mostly in ruins. Old powder kegs, convents, barracks, outposts, now abandoned and overtaken by nature, who has become the protagonist. His is a work about the memory of places, exuding a sense of the passage of time that was, that has been and that continues to be.
The urban vision, an unveiling that must possess a certain peculiarity to impress those who behold it. The theme of the sight, of its entire concept, is an art form. To enliven its effect on the viewer, it is necessary to study the elements that compose the setting. The urban landscape should be perceived through the five senses and lived at the speed of the pedestrian.
In this project the urban landscape is the object of the photographer’s scrutiny, where the aim is to pick up the “in-between” – the traces of the transition from tradition to modernity – in the symbols of architectures and buildings. This is the architecture of our times and we can do nothing about it. Or perhaps we can: we can photograph it to interpret it, recount it and transform it into a fascinating and poetic scene to be observed with the admiration it deserves.
Matteo Procaccioli prefers the viewpoint of a curious spectator who, at times, observes from far away, and at other times inspects from the bottom upwards, always asking questions about the sense of inhabiting the landscape, and grasping the feeling of change and its rapidity.
The project stems from research and experimentation into aesthetic elements that are far removed from straightforward documentation. The images, portraying buildings under construction or sometimes abandoned, allow the spectator to feel a sense of change, as the structures in the building sites seem to open up to generate new architectural works. The modernity can be worrying at times, as in the case of abandoned buildings that testify to the avant-garde trends of bygone days giving way to futuristic architectures. Even the images, despite being digital, undergo a manual processing that gives the photographs a material quality full of deliberate imperfections, small scratches and creases reminiscent of those photographs that were once upon a time produced in the darkroom.