Follemente is Italian for “crazily”, “madly”, “with all your heart”. 28 year-old Italian photographer Federico Aimar chose it as a title of a fantastic series of photographs that look at the landscapes around where he lives near Turin, in Northern Italy, and which he cherishes deeply. The images zig zag through the beauty of the nature and the signs of human negligence, with the flow of the Orco torrent tying the work together.
Hello Federico, thank you for this interview. What are your main interests as a photographer?
I’m mainly interested in ordinary things. I feel a very strong affection for anything that is around me, a bond that motivates me to unveil the aesthetic qualities of everyday objects. I believe everything can be a worthwhile subject matter for a photograph.
Please introduce us to Follemente: where did you shoot the images and what do they show?
Follemente is a series of images which explore the landscapes along the 90km-long Orco torrent running through the Canavese region [in Piedmont, Northern Italy]. I’ve spent the last four years observing these landscapes and documenting the slow-flowing waters of the torrent.
What inspired Follemente, and what was your main intent in creating this series?
Initially, Follemente had A Love Story as a secondary title: I considered it (and I still do) my love story with a place that, as time passed and my vision became more mature, I was getting to know better and feel a stronger affection for.
When I started shooting for Follemente I had no particular intent—it was more of a project I was making for myself. As I continued working on it, I realized that I did want to send a message: love the landscape around you for both its vices and virtues, take care of it and seek the unusual moments it has to offer.
How would you describe the images of Follemente? What feelings do they evoke for you?
I’ve never really thought of a description for my images; but a word that often comes to my mind when I look at them is “grotesque”. I’ve always experienced conflicting emotions while walking along the torrent: I felt immersed in an ambiguous landscape, damaged by the human presence on one hand and yet capable to give hope with its beauty and resilience on the other.
Did you have any specific references or sources of inspiration in mind while working on Follemente?
For the whole time that I’ve worked on this project, including the moments when I was knee-deep in the water or penetrating thick woods, I always had in mind one phrase by Dag Hammarskjöld: “Only once you’ve loved your own landscape you can love others”. I think this phrase and Robert Adams’ book Beauty in Photography are at the core of the whole series.
How do you hope viewers react to Follemente, ideally?
I hope that looking at my images they feel encouraged to seek the incredible in their small corner of the world.
What have been the main influences on your photography?
I’m mainly influenced by conversations with friends. Then there’s the work of other photographers, and many many books.
Who are some of your favorite contemporary photographers?
Paolo Verzone, Guido Guidi, Alec Soth, Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, Philip-Lorca diCorcia.
Choose your #threewordsforphotography.
Leaving. Known. Road.