Marco Lachi was born in Florence, Italy, working as a planner in an architectural firm before graduating from the Fondazione Studio Marangoni in 2007. His work has been featured in ZOOM, Ojo de Pez, and European Photography. From 2008 to 2011, he lived in Cape Town, South Africa, working as a freelance photographer. During that period, Marco collaborated on the book How Does It Feel To Be Leaving The Most Beautiful City In The World? with African writer and journalist, Olufemi Terry. The book was a finalist in the 5th Dummy Award at the 2012 Photobook Festival Kassel, and has been featured in many places such as CPH Mag and Fotografia Magazine.
If you were to pick up Marco Lachi’s How Does It Feel To Be Leaving The Most Beautiful City In The World? without any prior knowledge of the past of Cape Town, you’d still be able to feel the tension slowly creeping in before reaching any of the text. The photos start lush and idyllic, painting a portrait of the luxurious side of the city: hotel rooms, classic cars, poolside champagne, and sunglasses. But with each page turn, Lachi moves outward, pulling his lens further and further away to the edges of this paradise. The same light and architecture remain, but our attention is brought to the walls surrounding the city. The fences, the barbed wire, the security cameras, each looking both quaint and sinister, sheathed in their fresh coats of paint.
It’s these elements of the city that brought Lachi’s attention to the fact that though Apartheid is in the past, it still murmurs in South Africa’s culture. His photos represent the region’s uneasiness, and the still existing “signs of insecurity among its inhabitants”.
But the real feat of this work is based in its collaboration. Too often words and photos join together to form an all too complete narrative—it becomes reporting instead of art, journalism instead of documentation. Lachi and Terry, however, never overlap. They leave some spaces blank, presenting instead only rations of the whole, each attempting to break through the crust of the city from their own side at the same harmonious pace. And so each chips away at this tourist veneer, together beautifully framing the racial tensions, urban fear, and the importance of a departure from a singular point of view. After all, leaving the most beautiful city in the world might not mean you’ve actually left. Maybe it just means you can’t see it the same way ever again.
Review by Taylor Kigar
Title : “How Does it Feel to be Leaving the Most Beautiful City in the World?”, 2013
Size : 7.5 x 8.5 inches
Page Count : 48 Pages
Edition : 250 copies , signed each book also comes with a limited edition c-print, signed and numbered by the artist.