The season is over. The Autumn wind shakes the branches of the trees, solitary witnesses in a motionless space. In a house of someone who cannot sleep, a television lightens up the pale white painted rooms. Empty hotel neon lights reflect their luminescence on the windscreen of my car. Silence is filled with small, almost imperceptible, sounds: old bulbs flickering, radiators and ventilation systems sizzling in the dark. Everything looks the same, orderly and ready. Perfectly outlined. It’s hard to not feel alone. I get out of the car and I light up a cigarette while watching a big calf vanishes like a ghost in the haze that has risen in the meantime. His story is already written. He is stuck. Nothing can be changed. Here is the light of dawn. I think about the people I lost and who has lost himself in this place. Animals speak to me and palms look like fireworks. You couldn’t feel bad.
Carlo, born in Turin and Swiss by adoption, is a director with a bachelor in visual communication trained specifically on moving photography; after his graduation, with a thesis based on an experimental project developed through the use of infrared, he worked as a DOP around Europe (mainly in Germany) and in Brazil until, in 2016 and after 6 years spent elsewhere, he had to return to Locarno, a town on Maggiore Lake where he grew up.
The return, forced for personal reasons, and a touristic town that lives during the summer but that remains suspended, waiting for the rest of the year, pushed the author in search of escape, of his dimension: in the sleepless nights of Locarno Carlo began to retrace the places of his childhood, now different and “populated by characters who seemed ghosts more than vivid”, and to undertake a reflection based on the comparison between the volatility of memory and the tangible vision of the present.
In 2016 Carlo Rusca defined the birth of a project and its technical characteristics: the film was the rule, the tool capable of profiling a method and a limit and which allowed to “focus on the subject and carefully choose what to photograph and what it meant, formally and expressively “.
In 2016, therefore, Carlo Rusca began to photograph his wandering initially as a sort of therapy and then gradually build the narrative of a non-place or, better, of “a place that belongs to many places, places waiting for something. that maybe will never come. A story dedicated to small tourist towns and their lonely inhabitants stuck in these bubbles “.
Turistica ended in 2019, after 3 years of work and an editing that lasted six months. Turistica is a travel diary through the feeling of uncertain, waiting and memory that has unexpectedly (but, in my opinion, deservedly) found adhesion with an already large audience; this is testified by the fact that the project was also selected by Aperture magazine and already exhibited in the past few months in New York during the Aperture Summer Open.
Today Carlo Rusca works as a director of photography and is a professor at the audiovisual department at the cantonal art school of Lugano (CSIA) and at the International Conservatory of Audiovisual Sciences in Locarno.
I chose to tell you about him and his work because I found his project, Turistica, empathic and endowed with a strong aesthetic charge and, unlike many current ones (and without wanting to generalize), not at all pretentious. Essential, on a technical level, and absolutely instinctive on the approach; a project that leads to a visual investigation but which clearly has emotional roots. Poetics.
Turistica will become a book, available from next April. My suggestion is not to foreclose the pleasure of holding it in your hands.
Words by Walter Borghisani
Carlo Alberto Rusca is born in Torino (Italy) on the 29th of June 1989.
First graduated in directing and film production at the International Academy of Audiovisual Sciences in Lugano in 2013, he continued his studies at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) where, in 2014, he graduated with high honors with a thesis in aesthetics of human bodies by experimental photography. He’s currently based in Locarno (Switzerland) and Düsseldorf (Germany), working as freelance photographer and filmmaker. Since 2015, he’s also teaching audiovisual sciences at CSIA in Lugano. His recent work “Turistica” has been selected for several national and international exhibition, among others, the Aperture summer open 2019: Delirious Cities, at Aperture Foundation, New York.