29 May Andrea Di Martino, “The Mass is ended”
The Mass is ended
What fascinates me in the photography of architecture, which is often static, inanimate and devoid of human presence, is the ability for me to imagine life. In this sense, deconsecrated churches are richly evocative places: they recall sacred life, rebirth and profane life. In Italy there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of deconsecrated churches scattered all over the country. Many are neglected and often forgotten. In recent years, however, there has been an increasingly common policy for the recovery and renovation of formerly consecrated churches, putting them to new use. What is surprising is the wide variety of reuses, the most diverse and unthinkable. My project started from here: to document these places in their new identity and their new life.
For five years, from 2008 to 2013, I travelled across the country looking for deconsecrated and transformed churches. I explored every Italian region to find the most interesting and surprising new uses, searching for innovative architectural solutions as well as the most practical adaptations for people who, for example, just needed a place to work. Along the way I discovered stories that revealed Italy in many facets: refined and superficial, trendy and popular, rule-breaking and believing. I photographed more than 70 churches. I chose to have the same point of view, the same perspective, the same square format. Just one photograph for each church to show the contrast between the different lives of these special places.