At the bar “Wild Strawberries”

Trieste, “King”, n. 8, October 1988. Text by Maurizio Berte’.


Documentation of the reality of the lives of people with psychic disorders has been a recurring and treasured theme in my work as a reporter.
Beyond the reporting of psychiatric hospital conditions, this as meant studying man and his frailty; that delicate ground in balance between the search for self and its loss.
So in 1987, in Trieste for a long campaign on the former psychiatric hospital, I asked patients, doctors and simple passersby to pose in front of my lens. It was a provocation to show the absence of a confine between normality and difference, to simply show in those faces the complexity of man.
Fifty-five shots of fifty-five individuals who showed themselves as they saw themselves, as they felt, as they wanted to be seen. Among them is that of a woman who has become a synthesis in a synthesis, I think, of my way of seeing man and his existance.
In the pose she offers the lens I find that the exuberance of her personality is a manner of portrayal that is evident in some of my more intense photos: man confronting his own interior world, in a moment of grace and relaxation. This is then the right to life, to the fullness of being, to the imagination and to knowledge that I have always sought to confirm with my photos, expecially when I have used them to declare absences, betrayal, negation.

Uliano Lucas
Taken from Giovanna Calvenzi, Melina Mulas, Laura Serani (edited by), Clear Light, Rome, Peliti Associati, 2009.