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The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

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The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery
The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

The First Day of Good Weather - Vittorio Mortarotti © courtesy Van Der Gallery

 

Vittorio Mortarotti is an Italian photographer and had his first solo show in 2008 during Photomonth in Krakow, while in the same year he was part of the Behind the walls exhibition curated by Wim Melis. In 2010 he presented his photographs at the Italian Emerging Photography show during Mois de la Photo in Paris. His work was exhibited at Manifesta 9 and at Arsenal in Metz, and he was shortlisted for several awards. The project First Day of Good Weather became a book in 2005 and it was selected for the First Book Award in 2015, later published by Skinnerboox. Together with Anush Hamzehian he recently won the Leica Prize at the Festival Images in Vevey.

On the 6th of August 1945 an american bomber named Enola Gay, drops the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. On the night between the 8th and the 9th of July 1999, Mortarotti's father and brother die in a car accident. The 11th of March 2011 an earthquake and the consequent tsunami strike a vast area of Japan causing 25000 victims and a nuclear disaster. In 2012 Mortarotti finds a correspondence between his brother and a Japanese girl, Kaori, dating back to 1999.
All of these unrelated tragic events together with the discovery of the letters, constitute the subtle terrain on which The First Day of Good Weather is built. The search of Kaori, and the revelation of her letters has been from the beginning «a pretext to look for stories of loss and reconstructions through Japan».
The book's spiral structure is determined by a game of recollections and reiterations: images follow one another as if totally unrelated, but together form a sort of great wave that finds its apogee at the centre of the book, where a letter from Kaori to the author's brother is found.
Printed on thick light blue paper, the wave and the letter are the epicentre of this account, a sort of “suspended present” where a private story and a collective one reveal one another through the fragments they left behind: «It's a story that links two different events: on one hand I wanted it to be direct, a document that contained everything I had found, but at the same time I wanted that its features weren't too clear, which is the case of the portraits, they are very dark and unarranged. I wanted to create a temporal ambiguity, [an allusion to the] time shortly before and shortly after a tragic event.»

The entire sequence was constructed in a way that some elements result in a kind of deja vu, so that the viewer would never be too surprised: [the experience of this book] should be like a perceiving a memory, not as the discovery of something new. While describing the editing process Mortarotti said: «The fact [that the project doesn't] have precise features, follows my will of finding an emotional path that has more to do with a recollection, not with the informative value of the photographs. I didn't want that the narrative of these events resulted in any way pathetic or pitiful.»

Like an archaeology of memory, The First Day of Good Weather is the topographic account of an ambiguous memory made of fragments, where it is believed that a place can still reveal the turmoil that that has gone through it.

The First Day of Good Weather is published by Skinnerboox. The project inspired a short movie called Après, directed by Anush Hamzehian.

Gabriele Magazzù

 

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