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Alex Farrar

Viganella

 

 

Viganella sits at the bottom of a steep-sided Italian Alpine valley and the surrounding mountains cast a permanent shadow over the village for four months of the year, cutting off direct sunlight during the winter. The southern side of the valley is so sheer that on the 11th November the sun disappears from Viganella and doesn’t reappear until the 2nd February.

The village received considerable international press attention in 2006 when it attempted to solve this problem by installing a giant mirror on a nearby peak to reflect sunlight into its main square below.

Staying in Viganella, I constructed a rudimentary pin-hole camera to record the landscape. This archaic method meant that I had very limited control over the images and so avoided the temptation to produce anything conventionally picturesque, or anything that could make claims for the accurate documentation of a unique and personal experience. This unpredictable process resulted in images that withhold the captured light in a murky smog.