Franco De Grazia has dedicated this text to my “A Men’s World”:
Tradition, as often said, is by definition conservative: looking to the past, it’s sometimes an obstacle to promote changes in human habits amd makes difficult the establishment of new behaviours inspired by the need of living the present. Tradition crystallizes aspects always visible in human acts but gives the possiblity to lighten some “way of living” considered marginal in our cultures. Facets, for instance, of country life not very old, but often wiped out in our memories. Country contexts where rules where fixed, where “you should act as a man” was not meant as a silly demonstration of masculine pride: it was a strong recall to important human values, a precise ethic bearing in private and in social life. A world slowly disappering, but still showing a great appeal and offering interesting ideas.
Mediterranean, patriarchal is Massimo Cristaldi’s “A Men’s World”. A world populated by elders, that the lens observes to find in gestures, positions, espressions, floating words, the sense of an old humanity.
The spatial depth, limited by choice, is precisely focusing in the moviments, in the severe standing of old judges, in the religious attention to everyday work, in common conversation, in the sad but relaxed self thoughts. Photos represent an essential sequence, without rhetoric, as if reality itself wants to pose for the photographer. Common people becomes, in the shots of the present, the shadow of great figures of the past, still alive and able to talk an ancient but actual language.
In this series only a portrait offers, in his expression, the synthesis of the lives and of the cultural heritage of this “men’s world”: the glance of an old farmer looking to the sunset still full of wishes but conscuios that the day is going to finish.