The work “Vietnik” addresses the intrinsic duality of the photographic medium and its tie to the performative construction of identities. “Photography is the advent of myself as other: a cunning dissociation of the awareness of identity”. Vietnik is a musical pseudonym, a proxy, a cyborg in the inescapable extension of the self through technology, a “self-portrait as a building and bildung”.
The double (spatial and temporal, photographic and musical, of images and words) is a recurring motif, like a refrain - in the publication as in the installations and previous works.
The book's structure emulates and subverts the increasingly popular Hollywood format of the biopic. How does this trend of today cultural consumer is connected to the performative construction of social identities? How much of me appears in the photographed “persona” (“mask” -Latin, “public image” -English)?
“A clever visual bildungsroman where, lurking behind his semiotic images, we find layers of the young artist’s influences..” – Aperture PhotobookReview by Federica Chiocchetti
“Viasaterna presents Luca Massaro’s project room See Both Sides with a selection of photographs, lightboxes, pictures from his last publication Vietnik, revisited with a new text-based intervention. The relationship between word and photography in Massaro’s work will be deepened during November 11th during a conversation with the critic and curator Federica Chiocchetti (founder of the photo-literary platform Photocaptionist). The second room of the exhibition presents a site-specific light installation that will be activated with a musical performance on the finissage day (..)
See Both Sides reflects the duality of Luca Massaro's artistic work. The first clue is provided by the name of his photobook, which corresponds to the musical pseudonym that the artist had used for his SoundCloud platform. Vietnik comes from the epithet given to Bob Dylan in a dialogue of the famous film Masculin Féminin by Jean-Luc Godard, recognized as the crasis of Vietnam and Beatnik, to indicate the opposition between the known conflict and the beat generation. In the publication Vietnik (Gluqbar Editions, 2019), as in a musical refrain, this theme occurs as the double and the coexistence of opposites.” – Viasaterna Press Release
“In Vietnik Luca Massaro rewrites the classical american tour imagery in a performative and meta-identity tone.” – Domus
“..in his latest work, Vietnik (2019), Massaro reflects on the representation of his persona through a refined narrative system, where images, that for compositional care and attention recall the masters of analogue photography, are linked together in a complex rhizomatic system that remembers the network's connecting spaces. Linking past and present of visual research in a continuous game of references and stratifications, the images produced by Massaro mix personal experience and imaginative dimension thus becoming ambiguous “multiples” of the author.. Following this logic, Darkoom expands the universe of Vietnik in an installative form, introducing the sound element, another central language in Massaro’s practice as well as in his life. The title forces two worlds that seem to be at odds to a curious coexistence: nostalgic fetishism for film photography, and club culture darkrooms. This unresolved tension represents the ideal point of access to Massaro's work, a metaphor and laboratory of a continuously evolving personality.” – Marco Paltrinieri
“Who is Vietnik? - Vietnik is a musical pseudonym born in 2010 as a SoundCloud username. The name derived from a dialogue in the film Masculin Féminin by Godard who speaks of Bob Dylan as a "Vietnik" (union of the words Vietnam and Beatnik). Of "Vietnik" in Godard, I liked the ambiguity and biographical inaccuracy, within the fiction of a film, on what in turn is a pseudonym of Robert Zimmerman, and the reasoning on terms like "persona", character", "mask", "male / female","double". – Looking On Interview