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  • 30 novembre 2006


    It couldn’t happen at a better time, the opening of the blog of my favourite month.

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    30 novembre 2006

    A message from the listeners/anorexia

    As serious newspapers say, we gladly receive and publish:

    “distinguished Mr. Benedusi,
    I read your last post published on your blog about the problems of anorexia, and I couldn’t help myself but to write to you my dissent in respect to your point of view. I am a 23 years old girl, I have a degree, I am blessed with good education, and I cannot say that my self confidence lays at low levels, I am of average looks, fairly tall and I do not have particular weight problems. This should clearly exclude me from the category of some individuals that suffer from some kind of inferiority complexes, or are extremely unsatisfied with how their body looks like.
    Not exactly. At a superficial level, I also perceive, some sort of social pressure that keeps on bringing my physique in discussion, my attractiveness, my body weight.
    And I am not anorexic. I do agree with you that the anorexia problem can be attributed to the glamourous world of fashion in which you work, certainly it is part of a complex pathology, that touches the female psyche at deep levels and partly jilt the mere spirit of emulation, but I assure you, that the media world, in which fashion plays a part, favours the diffusion of female role models that appears victorious only in relation to a sinister physique.
    To propose reiteratively, constantly, daily and capillare, of perfect beauties, smiling, serene, and in perfect physic form, with a spirit, specifically italian, flattering, vehicle of a subtle idea that merely by getting closer to the concept of perfection you can be socially acceptable and I would dare to say, more loved.
    This clearly does not connect directly to anorexia, but for particularly sensible subjects, being thin can represent reaching a chimera not to emulate the magazine model, but to desperately seek the values she represent, such as, beauty, wealth, success.
    Moreover, you know better than I do, the fashion world is extremely competitive and I do not find absurd that a 21 years old model, let herself die of starvation, to keep on shining in the patinated world of show biz, in which you are labelled “old” when you reach 25 years of age.
    It is not in my intentions to launch a “je accuse” or to use the fashion world as a scape goat, the social malaise that we breathe in, the increasing cases of anorexia, they cannot for sure be charged against the numerous ads or editorials in which these perfect beauties star in, the causes I repeat, are deeper, but I don’t find it opportune to refuse a close connection between the two scenarios.
    As I do not find it opportune to generalise by saying that all models are anorexic or they put themselves through tortures to keep in shape and maintain a good weight.
    This is all.
    Best regards and I wish you a good day.

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    29 novembre 2006


    Today I received a phone call were I was kindly asked to participate to a conference about anorexia.
    I should have been “politically correct” and stated that the fashion industry is against anorexia and it is right and legitimate that stylist, photographers and whoever else would create a movement against this serious problem.
    When I declared what I thought about the argument they thought twice about giving me the opportunity to participate to this event.
    What I think is that fashion and models have nothing to do with anorexia.
    Anorexia is a very serious problem that can be found in the deep roots of psychological uneasiness (problems with a mother, inadequate competitions in life, desire to rub out in front of perfection, and so on) and it goes on beyond an aesthetic emulation.
    The girl that wants to be skinny is not an anorexic girl.
    It is easy for the fashion industry to look good and stand against anorexia. It de phases responsibility.
    It’s like if gangsters stood against hurricanes.
    It is obvious that they are against hurricanes, but what gangsters do wrong has nothing to do with hurricanes, but it makes people say: “how nice of those delinquents! They want to protect us against flash floods!”
    A few days ago http://www.repubblica.it/2006/11/sezioni/esteri/brasile-modella/brasile-modella/brasile-modella.html news came out about a model that died of anorexia. And everyone wrote that the girl died of this disease because she was a model. What does it matter?!?
    They would have never written that a lady working at the post office died of anorexia! I repeat, it is a deep psychological problem, non an aesthetic emulation.
    It would be like if we had to ban the kids pictures on vogue bambini because pedophiles like them: nobody becomes pedophile because of vogue bambini!
    The reasons are much more serious and deep to motivate someone to become like that.
    And this is my opinion.
    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to eat pasta carbonara with beans, I would never want to become anorexic, I that work in fashion photography…

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    27 novembre 2006

    A message from the readers

    Amid the people that read this blog or who anyways knows me as a photographer and a professional there are some who write to me.
    I, here I say it here I deny it, I try, for what is possible to me, to answer to everyone, a little because I think is is a kind thing to do and a little because it is close to me to remember when I was a young gun trying to make way in climbing the ladder of fashion advertising photography. whom at that time gave me some advice and remember till today with affection.
    So it’s ok.
    The problem arises when someone complicates himself.
    Today I received this email, that I publish with the permission of the sender:

    “Hi Settimio,
    I’d like to bother you for a technical consultation.
    I have thrown myself in the deep end of fashion photography, but I don’t have yet a great practical experience. Towards the weekend I have to shoot some photos in a gym, for a book attached to a DVD on pilate (a kind of yoga). I’d ask you, if and when you have time, how you would set up the shot in order to obtain a good job. To give you an idea, I attach here a Nike website. More or less a job like that.
    I thank you once again and I am sorry for the inconvenience.

    I thought of answering like this:

    “Dear _____
    Thank you for writing and for believing in me and in my professionality to give the confidence necessary to give you some good advice.
    I am afraid though that I am not in the position to help you concretely.
    I will confess something to you: I have no idea on how to set up the kind of shot you are talking about. It is something out of my knowledge and capabilities. Usually I try to obtain the best results with the least effort. I know little or nothing of lighting and flash. I await the indefinite to take advantage of chance. I distract clients by playing rare and curious music. I talk to the models until they forget why they are in my studio, so that they are in front of my lens natural and real. Before shooting I take three steps forward and one backwards, I don’t know why, but it’s needed.
    I stare at the spider webs on the wall, I am often a reason of inspiration. I try to drink a hot tea as soon as I wake up. Even in the doodles of boiling water in a full bath tub I often find a cue to new fantasies. I read everything that passes in front of me, and often from the most useless things I come up with the most useful. I watch everything, besides television, which I am convinced it numbs you. Sometimes though, I admit, I like numbing myself, but I am conscious of it. I put all of this together, shake it, I let it simmer on low heat, sometimes yes, sometimes no, a good photograph comes out.
    As I have written before, and as it was written on the door of the studio of the artist german cueto:
    “we will only tell you what you will intuit, using our incongruent instruments.
    We organize inter astral trips.
    We know the quadrature of space. Our measurements are based on the fourth dimension.
    We listen to the heart of infinite.
    You want to be a hero?
    We know the future plans, we could suggest a path of what is to happen.
    Come visit us.
    Free consultancies for the poor of imagination.”
    This, my dear ___ is the recipe. Only this one.
    Nothing more…

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    25 novembre 2006

    Psychiatric clinic

    I was for a few days in veneto for a job and on the outskirts of treviso I found and photographed the sign post of this psychiatric clinic.
    Mad house, if you’d like to say it in a “politically incorrect” manner.
    And how did they decide to name this mad house on the outskirts of treviso?
    I mean, besides what does napoleon has to do with the veneto region is already a mistery.
    Ok, there could be some reason.
    But, I ask myself, being a psychiatric clinic, did they really have to name it napoleon?!?
    How will they deal with the fool that thinks he’s napoleon, with his hand on his belly and on his arrival to the clinic he finds the name of his favourite?
    “napoleon! I am Napoleon!! The palace where you are taking me has my name on it!!!
    The sleep of reason generates monsters.
    The sense of regions genera tapes…

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