In Judaism, the name of God may be written, but may not be spoken aloud. It is composed of four consonants, the vocal expression of which is entirely unknown. The name may be recognised as the reader scrolls through a text, but it may not be articulated, nor therefore shared with others, remaining within the realm of the reader’s own intimate consciousness.

I have always sought to use the medium of photography not to offer an image to the material world it already forms part of, but in an attempt to construct an image for the sentiments that are sadly bereft of one. My series of photographs generally take their inspiration from literature, from the love that binds me to my city, from reflections on the state of the art, or from my own simple, instinctive sensibility. Sometimes the initial outline of a shot has been provided by a story, a quote, an ailment, or an attempt to grasp an architecture and illustrate the sense of it.

This series is entirely different, because it is engendered by a single word, chosen because it is the only term that in its essence and in its various forms is able to justify and to explain what these ten years have meant and continue to mean for Banca Generali.

The image conjured up by this word is unknown to me as yet. What I do know is the occasions on which it soundlessly appeared before me during this three-month journey: while watching a game of ball beneath the boughs of a 650-year-old oak tree; seated observing a gigantic wave in the certain knowledge that its whole 35-metre height would crash down and dissolve into foam just metres from us; intent upon crossing the world’s longest footbridge without surrendering to panic as it sways with every step, balance falters and a fifty-metre fall into the abyss below looms large; but also in the act of capturing the moonlight blindfolded, of ploughing the land bent at an angle of 45 degrees to nurture wealth for the future, of looking out from the transparent emptiness of the dome of the Reichstag onto the emptiness of the sky over Berlin; of taking flight, of daring, defiantly continuing to exist at the foot of Vesuvius in Naples, in towering above the world below from the Fortress of Tentennano…. And in prayer, in belief, in anticipation of melting away, of vanishing into the realm of the ethereal, the untouchable, just like a word that may not be spoken aloud.

Michele Alassio, November 2016