The Arctic is a vision of the future that I have explored for more than seven years by documenting the communities and lives of the Svalbard archipelago, one of the last inhabited communities before the North Pole. Svalbard is the perfect alchemy between millennial balances and the sustainable future. They are one of the places where climate change is documented in the most precise way, thanks to these balances that guarantee exact measurements. I have documented the work of scientists who provide us with primal information for our future. I traveled into the past by entering ice caves where the air bubbles visible in the ice contained the air of a thousand years ago. This corner of the Arctic is a place of stability and paradoxes. Here it is forbidden to be born and die. The permafrost consistently below zero is in constant movement, and the bodies could return to the surface after years. It is the metaphor for our transitory condition in its most beautiful sense. The coal industry is giving way to new forms of sustainable energy. The ancient mines are closing, and the whole archipelago is the scene of countless research missions from climate to space, all in compliance with a quest for harmony with our environment. It is one of the most pristine places in the world where the air itself has its consistency that remains impressed by its purity as perhaps one of the strongest sensations experienced.
Spitsbergen is the title of Verzone's latest book published by the German publishing house Mare, which collects the photographs of 'Arctic Zero' and will be presented in Ibla, during the opening days, by Benedetta Donato together with the author.
Paolo Verzone, (Torino, 1967) Member of Agence VU since 2003, he is one of Italy's leading photographers. National Geographic, Time, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, he has been working for both newspapers and long-term projects for almost 30 years. Since 2014, Verzone has been documenting the inhabitants of one of the world's northernmost communities, Ny-Ålesund, in the Arctic. Awarded at World Press Photo in 2000, 2009 and 2015. His desire to represent the world is clear from his earliest personal work. Whether it is the series of portraits of Europeans on the beach, Seeuropeans (1994/2002), or the Moscow Project (1991/2011), produced in collaboration with Alessandro Albert, the ensemble of people photographed opens up a reflection on the multiplicity and singularity of each individual. His photographs are kept in many international collections, Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris), Instituto Nazionale della Grafica (Rome), to name a few.