Peter Strebel exhibition “Matera, the eternal city”. Exhibition remains open until 11 th of November.
Light and Shade
How did people live here? Why did they disappear? Where did they go? What traditions did they leave back? Is there anyone keeping up the ancient traditions? These and many other questions I would always ask myself while walking around with my camera. No answer. The ruins remained silent.
The theme of light and shade has characterized my career as a photographer since the beginning. Light has given a new life to the ruins of the Sassi. From a window its glow is reflected in the floor of a roofless house. It looks like a light in the light. These glows lead the visitor from one room to another as in a path. The light transforms the stone column into a sculpture and the walls into an artistic composition. And when you see stripes of light along the walls or on the floors it becomes a spectacle in nature.
I have come back to the ancient city of Matera and to the Sassi after 30 years. When I have looked at the Sasso Barisano from the Monastery of St. Augustine’s corner I have been deeply shocked. I have come back to Matera to continue my old work I started in 1981. But the abandoned houses of those days have been mostly restored. A new life has started in the Sassi. All these changes have puzzled me very much and this unexpected metamorphosis has wiped away all my projects.
After adapting to this change I have found a new spark to continue my work. The very ancient history of the city and of its inhabitants has filled me with enthusiasm again. You can explore the streets of the Sassi infinitely since you always find new and interesting things. You can find new scenes in the morning, during the day or at night – in spring, summer, autumn or winter – in the sun, in the rain and even in a cloudy day. I have fallen in love with this attractive city and I always love to come again and again to explore its history and enjoy its traditions.
Peter Strebel about himself: I was born in Switzerland in 1950 and trained there as a mechanical engineer. For over a decade I had been an amateur photographer and on settling in Finland in 1983 I turned professional. I studied artistic photography by attending many seminars and courses given by top photographers. Most of all I have been influenced by Eikoh Hosoe (Japan), Mario Cresci (Italy) and André Gelpke and Floris M. Neusüss (Germany). In the course of my career I have done many sets of photographs on specific themes that have been exhibited in various European countries.