Suspended: una Recensione di Francesco Carlomagno

«L’ambiente paga il prezzo più alto ma l’empietà di questa inefficienza colpisce anche il cittadino che si ritrova quotidianamente a subire lo scacco visivo che gli rammenta lo scempio prodotto. O, forse no. Come le migliaia di automobilisti che attraversano la rotonda di Giunone senza alzare lo sguardo verso i templi, innumerevoli altri spettatori indifferenti fingono che l’Italia sia l’angolo di paradiso in cui risiedono e abituano l’occhio alla bruttura di cui non si accorgono più» Così il prefatore ed editore Franco Carlisi. Proprio in questo sta l’importanza di questo libro di fotografie di Massimo Cristaldi, figlio del filosofo Rosario Vittorio. Egli ha la capacità di sostare, forse lui direbbe contemplare, di fronte a questi oggetti, belli o brutti che siano ma che hanno e trasmettono il senso della solitudine o dell’abbandono. Ti lasciano addosso un disagio. Ti creano indignazione e ribellione. Il senso critico della sua mente mi richiama il disagio esistenziale del padre, tormentato dall’essere «finito». Quindi non di paesaggi della mente parlerei ma di una educazione critica della mente. Il risultato è una denuncia e una protesta per questa realtà che ci circonda che porta con sé il senso della indifferenza, della trascuratezza e dell’abbandono, della miseria anche quando l’oggetto in sé è bello ma senza cura e senza rispetto. Le foto vengono offerte senza alcun commento, citando solo la città dove lo scatto è stato fatto. Suspended (o epoché, sospensione del giudizio per la fenomenologia). Non sono un esperto della fotografia ma il messaggio è arrivato come penso arrivi a tutti. Un cazzotto sullo stomaco. Però, l’indifferenza è prodotta dalla situazione «in cui tutti gli uomini diventano schiavi di un sistema la cui logica sfugge dalle loro mani, essi possono ritrovare la comunanza autentica nella lotta per il senso dell’essere» (R. V. Cristaldi, Saggi di filosofia del finito, Messina 1972, p.109). Deve venir fuori lo scatto per la dignità dell’uomo che non può rimanere passivo di fronte a tanto sfacelo. È un momento storico difficile ma ribellarsi è giusto, doveroso. E pensiamo anche alle tante sciagure che accadono come l’alluvione in Emilia-Romagna e le tante frane in questi ultimi anni dovute alla speculazione edilizia e al disboscamento, all’inquinamento. Alla responsabilità della società in generale e dell’uomo passivo. Un senso di gratitudine per l’Autore di questo testo, donato il 9 luglio 2023 (Massimo Cristaldi, Suspended, Palermo, 2021).

Francesco Carlomagno

The Metamorphosis of the Stars on Cities 12

I am one of the authors of “Cities 12,” with the work “The Metamorphosis of the Stars”, a volume curated by Angelo Cucchetto, Michele Di Donato, Fabiola Di Maggio, Attilio Lauria, and Sonia Pampuri.

You can purchase print copies of Cities for any country, buy the pack of all Cities PDFs from issue 1 to 12, and download the FREE PDF of Cities 12?!

Cities 12 authors: Yalda Moaiery, Massimo Cristaldi, Giuseppe Cardoni, Massimiliano Faralli, Eduardo Asenjo Matus, Mario Mencacci, Julie Hrudova, Salvatore Matarazzo, Aananda Antahleen, Francesco Verolino, Roberto di Patrizi.

VISIT the updated presentation section of CITIES at and make your choice!

The excerpt of “Metamorphosis” alone is available for download here.

“Suspended,” the suspended time in Cristaldi’s solo photography exhibition

Monica Cartia writes a beautiful article about "Suspended" in "La Sicilia" on June 5, 2023.

There are places that become points of reference, even involuntarily, in our collective imagination. Non-places that exist to remind us of their existence. “Suspended” is the solo exhibition of photography by Massimo Cristaldi from Catania, who dedicates evocative shots to these sun-drenched places of our land. The images focus on indefinite, unrealized, and unfinished locations that captivate the eye with tenderness, surprise, and even anger and denunciation. The void, the absence that becomes present, becomes a life that never had the opportunity to breathe. As Sandro Iovine, a photography critic, writes: “Here, time is the protagonist, a suspended time, just like the suspended landscapes presented to us, where everything seems to recall traces of recent unfinished human passage. What we can see are places immersed in absence. Absence of care for what humans have done in the past, absence of a conclusion for projects started and never completed. Massimo Cristaldi captures a ‘time within,’ crystallizing the wounds of space in a continuous present, and proposing ‘delirious projections into the future.’ Through his images, he narrates an abused land that has been returning surreal visions for decades, to which our eyes have grown accustomed and have become desensitized.” Beauty requires awareness, denunciation, and a brighter future for a land that makes its light a treasure. “In front of Massimo Cristaldi’s images, we experience the same reactions as when faced with a reportage on human misery,” says critic Franco Carlisi. “His photographs engage us aesthetically, but Cristaldi seems to believe that this is not enough. He constantly forces us into a visual clash with the scandal of certain dishonesty. He fuels anger towards those who have allowed such devastation and resentment towards a State that seems to have blinders on.”

Suspended: Siracusa (Italy), Fototeca Siracusana, 10-28 June 2023

On Saturday, June 10th at 6:30 PM, the exhibition “Suspended” will open at Fototeca Siracusana in Syracuse. On display will be around fifteen prints, and the book will be available. I will be present at the vernissage.

Sandro Iovine, an esteemed photography critic, writes about “Suspended”:

When you think about Sicily, the first images that come to mind, depending on the prejudice you may have, are those of a sunny land with a splendid sea, of women veiled in black who wander around in towns where conspiracy of silence is incarnated by men with flat caps on their heads and shotguns on their shoulders. None of this (fortunately) appears in Massimo Cristaldi’s images. Here the protagonist is time, a suspended time, as suspended are the landscapes that Massimo photographed, where everything seems to recall vestiges of a recent, unfinished passage of man. What we can see are places immersed in absence. Absence of care for what man has done in the past, absence of a conclusion for works and construction project that have begun and never finished. It is a time that Massimo Cristaldi photographs and that does not exist, or rather an “interior time” that crystallises, in a continuous present, the wounds of space and proposes “delirious projections into the future”.

Sandro Iovine

“Suspended” is the vision of a photographer who aims to express the common unease felt by many Sicilians living in this “suspended” time, witnessing the impoverishment of their land and the resources of a heritage subject, unfortunately, to the neglect of time and human actions. Massimo Cristaldi utilizes photography to skillfully highlight the apathy and abuses that the author transforms into surreal and almost metaphysical visions, to which we have become accustomed, as well as the notion of accepting a “normalcy” that is far from normal. While not new, the attempts to awaken consciousness are by no means futile, as there is a need for them. The voices that call for a fairer destiny for this southern world must not remain silent, for they will never be enough.

Salvatore Zito

Free admission or by reservation on closing days.

The Metamorphosis of the Stars

A Journey between Cuba and China

At the beginning of the last century, the Chinese community settled in Havana’s Chinatown was one of the most densely populated Chinese communities outside of China. The idea for this project was born at the great gate of the “Barrio Chino” in Havana, with the aim of visually exploring and documenting the similarities and differences between Cuba and China. Bridging the conceptual gap between these nations, the project focuses on what they have in common: people on the streets, Communist regimes in transformation, iconic leaders and stars in the flags.

While China underwent profound economic reform since 1978, becoming one of the world’s largest economies, Cuba has experienced relatively little change. Despite the differences in population, economy, and cultural heritage, the project highlights the similarities between the two nations and tries to transcends preconceptions by focusing on the basic elements of daily life such as smiles, dances and visual cues of similarity.

The project provides a fresh perspective on the ongoing metamorphosis of two Communist governments, both impacted, as all the world, by ongoing globalisation.

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Touch Ground: Ali Baba

In 2013 alone, over 42,000 migrants braved the Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to reach Europe. Many ended up in Sicily and the surrounding islands. Thousands of these people have previously traveled this route and are still continuing to do so up to nowadays.

In “Touch Ground,” I photographed beaches, harbours, cliffs—the places where, in recent years, migrants have first reached the shores of Europe from North Africa.

I completed Touch Ground in 2014.

After almost ten years from “Touch Ground” nothing has changed.

Deaths at sea have risen and we looked elsewhere, failing to seriously face a reality that we should first accept and then, possibly, turn into an opportunity.

This is “Ali Baba”, a big boat stranded on the coast of Marzamemi (Sicily). It is not, yet, a wreck like many others.Around it are suitcases, jackets, lines. The sea will eat it slowly.Ali Baba and the 100 migrants.

In its “beauty”, enhanced by the sunset light, it almost seems to mock those who arrived with him at destination.

I hope these images can help us remember who didn’t make it and help who, strenuously, fleeing their country, is looking for a better life.