In the summer of 1959, the Italian magazine Successo sent the writer and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini to travel coast to coast from Ventimiglia to Trieste, alongside the photographer Paolo Di Paolo. This road-trip on which they set out to interact with their fellow countrymen inspired Pasolini to write a text about the journey, which has since become iconic: The long Sand Road, featuring incisive and authentic remarks on the state of his country, Italy, which would later inspire many photographers.
More than sixty years later, the artist Chantal Vey traveled that same road in her van, revisiting the places that Pasolini described. Made up of three chapters, the book Sur la route de Pier Paolo Pasolini, contra-corrente published by Loco, is a photographic tale that follows in the poet’s footsteps. All along her journey, which can also be perceived as a performance, Chantal Vey photographs, films, draws and collects images, sounds, and words, using the writer’s text as a compass.
Through her journey of exploration, readers and viewers get to rediscover Pasolini’s Italy. Punctuated by the travel diary Chantal Vey kept while on the road, which describes her daily life, her comings and goings, and her encounters, Sur la route de Pier Paolo Pasolini, contro-corrente also features three other contributions written by Roberto Chiesi, David Grieco and Guido Mazzon, which offer other views on this series and on the Italian poet whom Alberto Moravia, his friend, described as the creator of “left-wing civil poetry.”
Sur la route de Pier Paolo Pasolini, Contro-corrente by Chantal Vey, published by Loco, 256 pages, 29€.