‘Lo non ho mani che mi accarezzino il volto’ (There are no hands to caress my face), Pretini
David Maria Turoldo's poem about solitude titles Mario Giacomelli's series about the lives of young priest candidates in Marche. As with all his series, the photographer took time to build a relationship with the people and their surroundings. He visited the seminary for over a year, during which time he created what are probably the best-known photographs in his oeuvre. 'Lo non ho mani che mi accarezzino il volto' (There are no hands to caress my face) is an allusion to the seminarians' disciplined life of silence and seclusion, and an intentional contrast to the cheerfulness and joie de vivre of the roundup depicted. The young clergymen, dancing and abandoning themselves completely to the moment full of lightness and carelessness, seem to float above the ground. The unusual imagery is determined by the snow-covered background of an almost white surface without drawing, on which the priests with their black cassocks move as if choreographed.
PROVENANCE Private Collection, Italy
LITERATURE Enzo Carli (ed.), Giacomelli: La forma dentro, Milano 1995, p. 113; Alistair Crawford (ed.), Mario Giacomelli, New York 2001, p. 225.