Scrapbook is an ongoing series by Italian photographer Francesco Merlini, in which he collects images from different projects, with less obvious connections than his usual series. It’s a sort of diary, not bounded by a specific aesthetic or theme. But when looking at Francesco’s work, certain subjects do reappear throughout the images. A keyword in the series seems to be confrontations. A person surrounded by journalists and paparazzi’s, young men in a riot, a stillborn infant and a sweater trapped in barbed wire. In our former feature of Francesco’s work, he told us that he is generally concerned with death, sexuality and formal and moral decay in our society in his work.
Francesco’s background in news covering is obvious. He knows how to tell a story with each image, that makes us question what we are looking at. But in contrast to news stories, the answer is never given. Why does the woman on the rooftop look so much in despair? How did the sweater wind up in barbed wire? And where is it, a prison? Francesco manages to catch our attention, with a combination of unfulfilled narratives and a beautiful aesthetic. We are captured in Francesco’s vision of a bleak world, that seems equally hopeless and mysterious.
Article by Carl-Emil Storm Gabrielsen.