"Faith, Time, Tourism"
(Vatican City, 2017)
When arriving in Rome, the first thing that stroke me was this mix of faith and tourism. Religion became a object of mass consumption, a touristic product, and almost a kind of social media star. Places of worship finally sacralise the phenomenon of mass tourism. When I get in those places, I am myself a tourist, but in a sense I feel like sucked by a flow that I never wanted to get into. Who never felt that when visit the Vatican Museum ? Personally I entered the Sistine chapel without even touching the ground. Like a kind of mystic arrival to heaven, I got literally lifted, transported by this compact crowd entering the small funnel door.
The first image of this tryptic is called "Urbi et Orbi" and was take at the Easter mass at San Pietro. Again, I had to cross through a jungle of selfie sticks in order to climb on the fountain and catch this shot, this mass of people searching for Papa Francesco.. The second is called "No Photo" it was taken in the Sistine Chapel while two guys were about to jump on me to stop me from shooting the place The third one was taken inside St Peters Cathedral, probably the only place in the world where so many people are looking up at the same time in a continuous flow.
Faith creates the same scenes as concerts or festivals, it is the same curiosity that motivated those images. A new faith, maybe, is reaching the Holy See, a faith of the unique experience, the transcendance of a inch-perfect show staged by communicators, the Omnipresence of a by-product at each street corner to end up on your bedside table, on your fridge or in your Instagram newsfeed. Religion at the era of mass individualism is, to finish, the most enjoyable spectacle.