Interview with Leonardo Finotti


Where was this photograph shot?

In Icaraí-Grajaú, in the outskirts of the southern area of ​​São Paulo, in Brazil.


On November 3, 2011, at 10.28am.

Is there any technical aspect of the photograph that you want to mention?

The fact that the shooting was done in a helicopter brought some technical issues to light. For example, to avoid a blurred image I had to use a higher speed. The use of till-shift lenses in a helicopter flight is very difficult task to be performed, because these are fully manual lenses that do not allow things like autofocus or the possibility to set the shutter speed. On the other hand, the most important in this picture is the framework. To find an extremely accurate perspective as I do in my normal work by foot.

How did the opportunity show up?

The work was commissioned by the Municipal Housing Department, which was investing in many sports and leisure facilities on the outskirts of the city of São Paulo.

Had you been in that area before?

No, but walked there a few days later.

Why did you choose this image? What’s most interesting about it?

The photo is part of an authorial work which I’m developing right now which will be shown at an exhibition in Rio de Janeiro along with a book published in Switzerland. Also, because it has a special meaning in the context of the World Cup (2014 in Brazil).

Was there anything you were trying to communicate through it?

My photography work ends up structuring the reality that I photograph. In an architecture project finding this structure is always easier because it is designed by an architect and has all of those things really well defined, the informal city does not. In this image the football field/slum is “architecturized” by my way of seeing; the structure of the field goes through the slum, but it all happens in the picture, the picture creates a structured reality.

Is there any peculiar story about the photograph that you want to share?

I did a lenticular print of this photo as a test, which consists of two overlapping extensions, at the back with paper and at the front with translucent frame, and it created a strange kind of 3D motion, which changes depending on the position of the observer. We put it in the office and everyone hated it. Two days later we had a meeting there with a curator who saw the photo and said, “Don’t show this to anyone, we will make an exhibition”. That is the exhibition I am working on now. Everybody sees different things in photography!

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