Raffaele Canepa
January 9, 2021

Riccardo Bandiera

(Imperia, 1973)
I was born in Italy, near the French Riviera where I currently live and work, in close contact with the sea. I'm a professional photographer and artist. I've made exhibitions in Italy (Turin, Milan) and abroad (Barcelona, ​​Brussels, Arles, New York) in solo and group expos. There's a fil rouge that binds all my series of portraits that I create, which we can identify in a refined suspension, between a before and an after, where you can get lost in a melancholy solitude. In october 2016 I won the Biennale in Salerno (Italy) with the project “Anedonia”. In july 2017 I've partecipated at Voies Off in Arles, during the Rencontres, showing some photos from “Atlas Over Arteries” with the gallery Riccardo Costantini Contemporary of Turin. I'm the author of the book “Essenze Invisibili”, a fine-art project about three kids with neuro developmental disorders. In 2018 I won two prizes at Milan Photo Week with some photos of “Atlas Over Arteries” and one year after won the RaM Sarteano Prize at MIA Photo Fair.

“We don't go anywhere for a while. And then we go."
(Raymond Carver)

project description



The project borrows its title from a magic word in Gaelic that doesn't have one correspondence in the vocabulary of other existing languages. It's a term that refers to a feeling, to nostalgia for something, for someone, for a place, for an era, even for an ideal. It's called "Hiraeth" and describes the melancholy for a past time, a mixed feeling for someone we met on our path, which we have loved, which we miss and which we wish to find again. It is a lost place to which one cannot return except with the thought, a journey that can only be undertaken accompanied by memories. A regret echoes in the word Hiraeth, a reminder of happy times long gone which generates an unbearable pain for the past that does not return, an ideal world in which one has never lived and one aspires to day after day. The same world where you can float between the sea waters together with the sirens that there brings back to the primordial essence of the aquatic element in a symbiosis between the human, freed from the constraints of the earthly world and the whole of Nature that is regenerative force. Water is life, but at the same time its opposite, a hiraeth between birth and death. An infinite sea in which to receive comfort as from an ever-present companion to which every memory of your life is linked. A sea that knows how to envelop you lovingly between silent depths and boundless landscapes, while slowly dissolving all yours unconscious weight leaving room only for the melancholy memory for someone who does not will walk more by your side. Among the endless waters, only the Sirens remain with you, pagan symbols of fertility and protectors of creation, to show you the paved path of suffered nostalgia, end of which to find that someone so dear to you because the light gave you, suspended in the middle of the cyclical tide of finding oneself and getting lost.

Hiraeth #1, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #2, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #3, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #4, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #5, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #6, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #7, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #8, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #9, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #10, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #11, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
Hiraeth #12, 2018 © Riccardo Bandiera
project presentation

This is the concept

"I started shooting underwater in 2013 and since then I've been shooting every summer. The first photos I took with a roll of film, with 'disposable cameras', then gradually I evolved, gradually passing to a digital compact and then definitively to the suitcase reflex. I am lucky enough to live in Liguria, a few meters from the sea and there's no shortage of places here. I also like to go to the Côte d'Azur, as far as Esterel, which is a wonderful place in my heart. I always look for rock backgrounds, with natural colors, very pictorial, with that touch of light that summer days offer. You shoot in apnea for both of us, both me and the model, with no respirator. I put on the fins and wear the belt with the weights I need to be able to go underwater and stall, otherwise the floating diving suit would bring me back too quickly to the surface. The model almost always has a long, very soft dress that can float delicately in the water. We are 30-35 meters from the shore with the seabed that is 4-5 meters, usually the shooting lasts about an hour. It's not at all simple because it's difficult to communicate with the model, you're committed to taking a breath, immersing yourself, making the passage in which you photograph yourself and re-emerge. Sometimes there's current or some wave. Simply, we agree each time first on what and how to do it and then look for the shot."

project presentation

This is the backstage

Movies: Riccardo Bandiera
Music: Astrao-Travel (Ketsa)