A few centuries ago, at the turn of the first millennium, it was said that city air makes one free, and indeed in those centuries after the year 1000, urban civilisation in Western Europe, which had gone through a period of decline in the previous centuries, was reborn more robust and vibrant than ever.
Cities thrived, expanded, swallowed up the remnants of past civilisations and reworked them in new and original ways.
They have been demolished and rebuilt on several occasions, they have from time to time become capitals of kingdoms, empires, republics, centres of commerce and culture, masterpieces of art.
With the industrial revolution, they devoured territory, and men, as far as the farthest continents, turning into megalopolises and reproducing their forms everywhere.
The wars and upheavals of the past century have destroyed or transformed them, but they have rebuilt themselves by cladding themselves in new materials, from the noblest to the most precarious, filling up with new inhabitants to the point of becoming in some cases immense slums.
Cities have been depicted in a thousand ways: painting, drawing, prints, photography have them among their main protagonists. Whoever wants to measure himself against their image must confront the giants that have preceded him, quote them, paraphrase them more or less consciously.
Today, it seems to me that cities, in a country as asphyxiated as Italy, exude an atmosphere of resigned waiting, of suspension, bent over their centres transformed into wax museums or suburbs full of undefined non-places.
I wanted to render this air of slight necrosis with the leaden images that make up this report, almost devoid of people, in which the only protagonist in the foreground is an alien that looks like a menacing sentinel.