On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Reunification, the photographer Luca Berti went on a historical and artistic voyage of Southern Jutland. Cycling and walking, he set out to capture the feel of the landscape, the traditional Danish and German architecture and the people he encountered en route. The results of this photographic journey are now presented in a photo-documentary exhibition in the White Mansion. The exhibition features 50 unique photographs and is part of Sønderborg’s official contribution to the anniversary of the Reunification. The project is an investigation into the nature of contemporary national and regional identity.
Luca Berti uses a modern version of an antique camera. It is not digital; it uses photographic plates and weighs five kilos. He describes his technique thus:
“The pictures are black-and-white and achieve a special effect. It can take one hour to take one photo. The whole process is very slow. It isn’t a question of digital photos hanging in the air. These photos are produced physically and then document history for the future. I love using my hands in a darkroom, and working with chemicals and photo paper. Digital photography has just about taken away all the charm. Working on the basis of the old-fashioned method, you have to think about every click.” Luca Berti was inspired by the Danish painter, Achton Friis, who portrayed typical people throughout Denmark in and around 1900. On the subject of his motives, he says:
“I cycle round with my camera and diary. I go on a photographic road trip. It’s like an adventure. I try to find old farms and then knock on the door. Or I stop a person whose face inspires me.”
The exhibition is part of the celebration of Reunification 2020 and is funded by the municipality of Sønderborg.
The quotes are from the article, ‘Luca Berti takes slow photos in the cultural landscape’ by Katrine Lund Walsted, JydskeVestkysten, 16 November 2019