The author, Giovanni Chiaramonte, has Siciian roots but lives in Milan since 1961. He is very active: not only as a photographer, but as a publisher and as a teacher (one of his student was Francesco Zanot). He is also one of the photographers of the renown ‘Viaggio in Italia’. In 1977, together with his friend Luigi Ghirri, he founded the imprint ‘Punto e Virgola’ (that will release Kodachrome shortly afterwards).
Westwards is a very interesting and quite rare volume that gathers images shot during two trips to the United States (in 1991 and 1992). Clearly an ‘American’ book, very much inspired by authors like Stephen Shore (whose ‘Uncommon Places’ is similar in printing) and the social landscape in general, Westwards opens with a written introduction by another very important photographer for Chiaramonte: Joel Meyerowitz.
A beautiful and significant view of the (social) landscape that might surprise also the American audience. The cover bears the title ‘Westwards’, which is subtly transformed in ‘Westwords’ on the back cover. Maybe a way to address the relationship between text and image?
Speaking of text, the images are accompanied by short poems written by Umberto Fiori – also popular for having been the guitar player and lead singer of a band called ‘Stormy Six’.
One of the short poems goes more or less like this:
‘In the background, standing upright in the grass, two little figures with joined hands pray at what you can’t see on the right.’
Book signed and accompanied by a vintage photograph (c-print) in an edition of 19 copies numbered and signed