Lorenzo Vitturi is one of the finest contemporary exponents of a strand of photography that incorporates sculpture, collage and performance – often attempted, yet seldom mastered. On a superficial level, what he does is create curious assemblages of materials and objects salvaged from the debris of London’s Ridley Road Market, known for its exotic foods, bric a brac and fabrics from Africa and India. It’s a sub-genre that testifies to the cyclical nature of imagery – its creation, dissemination and consumption, as well as it re-emergence.

Yet these makeshift sculptures and vividly coloured collages take on more complex weight through a heady mix of the figurative and the abstract, reality and illusion. Vitturi plays with superimpositions of objects onto images, manipulating space and locations via unusual pairings and visual alliteration, both within the imagery and by way of the book’s sequencing and edit. It’s a visual cacophony that mimics the market’s organic and temporary nature, put on the pedestal of appreciation before it transforms or decays again.

Another feature worth mentioning is the ethnic patterning of the clothbound cover, and also the text at the centre of the book by Sam Berkson. These snippets of overhead conversations or acute observations of the ebb and flow of street life, serve to distil the marketplace’s surreal but distinct atmosphere.

Robert Rauschenberg once ventured: “The artist’s job is to be a witness to his time in history.” Vitturi, with A Dalston Anatomy, has dissected his, and in the process pieced together an ode to one of London’s most bustling and truly unique markets; a place for understanding the people of Dalston and Hackney.

A Dalston Anatomy is published by JibiJana & SPBH Editions. For more information or to order a copy visit selfpublishbehappy.com

An exhibition of the works will be held at Foam, Amsterdam, 8 November-11 December. foam.org

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