How is implicit procedural memory activated by vision? And how might emotional response be reinforced — rather than activated — by the combination of long-term memory and emotional memory? I was 5 years old when, for the first time in my life, I felt a strong feeling of missing something. Going back in time, there’s a clear symbol which reminds me of that feeling. One night I was at a fun fair with my family. We were going back home when I saw the moon covered by some dark clouds. I started to cry, as in my childlike view, the moon was broken. I can remember exactly having a feeling that something was going to happen. A couple of weeks later, my father had a car accident. I will never forget that period, the hospital. Nobody knows how he managed to survive. I’ve always been very close to my father; we shared a lot of passions, spent a lot of time together, and I guess that a large part of my relationship with him was marked by the fear of losing him. Over the years, our relationship started to become more complex. It was very hard to understand what he was thinking or how he was feeling. So I decided to talk with him in order to understand what brought us to this point. The Moon Was Broken speaks about memory and identity. But it does this in a context the form of which is engendered by my ideas about reality. In my attempt to photograph memory, I am documenting places and pieces of my own, and my father’s, life, creating and connecting them with the symbols of this story. This project is a collection of different states of mind, a vision of what is my story and my identity today. While attempting to rebuild what is lost, I question myself and my relationship with my father, striving to reconnect its history with what it has become in the present. Starting from research and developing a particular narrative approach, The Moon Was Broken tries to photograph memory through the creation of precise and sharp symbols capable of representing parts of an apparently lost yet latent world.
Salvatore Vitale (b. 1986, Palermo, Italy) is a Swiss-based visual artist, educator and editor. Master of Fine Arts at the Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK). His work has been shown in museums and at European and international photo festivals. He teaches at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). Vitale is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of YET magazine, a Swiss-based international photography magazine that focuses on the evolution of photography practice within the contemporary art.
PHOTOPAPER nominated Salvatore Vitale for this edition. It has 16 pages. Images above showing selected pages.