Books | Alessandro Cosmelli and Gaia Light: Milano Buzz
© Alessandro Cosmelli
With The Buzz Project, photographers Alessandro Cosmelli and Gaia Light have begun traveling the globe, first to Brooklyn, now Milan, and next Sao Paulo, seeking out each city’s character through the lens of their cameras. Together, they capture timeless moments flickering across the landscape, sharing a story of a people and a place in the here and now, showing us the world as it exists from the inside out.
“Milano Buzz” (Damiani Editore), their latest release, looks at the center of Italian commerce from the point of view of its inhabitants riding the ubiquitous city buses and trolley cars. This sense of continuous motion and occasional pause is pervasive throughout the book, creating a delicious sense of movement and rhythm as one pages through the photographs, the eye catching and releasing as it does when one rides public transportation.
The exquisite full bleed photographs pour right off the page, each printed with matte inks and varnish, then collected within a paperback with large flaps that fit comfortably within the hands. The result is a soft, tactile sense of the intangible vastness of city life, of a way of seeing that is intuitive to the urban environment. And it is here that we see into the soul of Milan, a city that has been consumed by the relentless demands of capitalism.
As Goffredo Fofi writes in the book, Milan is a “Sad city, where hands seek other hands and rarely find them. City of loneliness, a city more subject than others to the obsessive offerings of fashion, the blackmail of ease, the imperatives of consumption, the rituals of belonging. City of walkers, who, seen in these photographs (from behind the glass of observation), seem to hurry, not knowing where; they have measured the pace of a post-industrial purgatory, going nowhere other than a bloodless, day-end ‘happy hour,’ after which only nothingness awaits them. In these pictures are places, things, and people, but those people seem crushed by the places and things—appear as superfluous, interchangeable. It saddens me to write these words, but I think I am justified by the many years—more than 20—in which I have chosen to live in Milan by my own free choice, conscious choice, years in which I have loved it as greatly as I have suffered it.”
Indeed, as the people living in urban environments continue to surpass the number of people living in rural areas, we come to terms with the understanding that everything cuts two ways. We see the elderly, the people of the past beginning to fade away, taking with them their traditions and their rituals and leaving in its place a space for a new generation to discover itself.
Book Cover Photo © Gaia Light
Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer, curator, and brand strategist. There is nothing she adores so much as photography and books. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue. Then she could blaze and write soliloquies to her in and out of print loves.