BEFORE THE DAWN  –  by Maiter Ferrario


It’s Franco Donaggio himself who tells us his personal story. He was born in 1958.
He comes originally from Chioggia but now lives in Milan. Yesterday he was a darkroom photographer while today he is a digital photographer. A man, a photographer who, over the years, has become another man, another photographer who’s always in keeping with his own visual language, a language which has changed a while on the way, though. In other words, remaining consistent to another self, Franco Donaggio is today in every respect, a “tailor of spaces”. A “tailor” because he chooses accurately the cloth which, pin by pin, becomes a unique work. “Of spaces” because he doesn’t sew clothes on the bodies of elegant ladies, but tacks sections of imaginary spaces: not places purified of all the defects, but spaces obtained through meticulous care and proverbial genius which he recovers from portions of the real (the façade of a cathedral, the columns of a temple or some sculptures) and which he cuts, makes longer or shorter and twists just like a tailor, in a perfect style.
The series of photographs entitled “Before the dawn” being the tangible proof of Franco Donaggio’s amazing sensibility in building a world which goes beyond the reality’s dimension. A world which is crossed – not randomly – by the most concrete reality: stable images which are at the same time as unstable and transitory as the clouds inserted in the dreamy landscape. Images of a disarming beauty which are carved in the memory in a brief lapse of time occurring exactly before the daylight.