More than fifty years ago -- after completing the Higher Course of Industrial Design in –Venice Mario Cresci moved to Tricarico, a town in the province of Matera, with the architecture and urban planning group "Il Politecnico" directed by the sociologist Aldo Musacchio.
What should have been a temporary professional experience becomes however for Cresci the beginning of a long and detailed investigation into the material culture of the South, as he was fascinated by the impact with the Lucanian peasant world. The journey to the south is therefore the starting point for an articulated and complex linguistic journey which, over the years, has developed through conceptual experimentation and creative research.
Cresci has been able to use the photographic medium as an irreplaceable tool for linguistic research, social investigation and knowledge, innovating and experimenting the contamination between the different expressive disciplines: photography, drawing, painting, performance, video, installation.
"Faced with reality, I have never deluded myself to leave my definitive mark and I have always rejected the presumption of those who understand their work as a continuous creation, a unique and unrepeatable act over time.
I prefer the ephemeral unconscious, the awareness of life and death as two indissoluble elements, for which images are nothing more than the transformation of events that drag the moments of the flowing life behind them. Photography in itself records and distorts reality, it is therefore itself ephemeral, even physically erased with the passage of time, to become a relic, an illegible apparition of real fragments.
I am interested in communicating, in addition to images, a working method, a behavior, an operating model with all its limits and merits, but above all open and usable and transformable by others, rather than just the finished product to be contemplated. In this respect, "creativity" is in the becoming of a mental operation which in our case is expressed in drawings and photographs, as the last visible phase of a broader path that has been completed or is about to be completed".
(Quote from "The archive of memory, photography in the southern area" Regione Piemonte, Torino, 1980.)
Mario Cresci was born in Chiavari (Genoa) in 1942.
He lives and works in Bergamo. Since 2004 he has been teaching photography at the Brera Academy.