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“I never got the chance to meet FRANCESCA WOODMAN, even though she lived in Rome for a few months between 1977 and 1978. I went there often in those days to see artists, friends, critics. I associated with the art world that surprised me at the time, seen through the eyes of colleagues who lived within the same system. Giuseppe Casetti, for example, or Ugo Ferranti, who gave Woodman her first exhibitions, and Giuseppe Gallo, Sabina Mirri.

But I know that, even if I’d run into her, I might not have been able to recognize her. We gallerists (and at the time I was a gallerist on the make) meet many young people who ask us to look at their work. We usually look at it carelessly, even condescendingly. An artist who makes an effort to be noticed tends to be regarded with suspicion. The question (young) artists ask is, “then what am I supposed to do?”

A question that has almost no answer.”

“LETIZIA BATTAGLIA sounds like a nom de guerre, and she is indeed a fighter.

I called her up one day, not long ago, to come by and meet her. Letizia is legend in the world of photography, but I never imagined I was jumping into a volcano. A Sicilian volcano, of course, a blend of Etna and Stromboli; a photographer of crimes, deaths, desperate mothers and bodyguards with cocked magnums, judges sprawled on their backs, chickens and cats on tables. Letizia breathes for just a few seconds a day, and chain-smokes the rest of the time. She was head of Palermo’s Office of Culture under Mayor Leoluca Orlando, but poets shouldn’t dabble in politics. She’s shrewd, quick, delicate, tranchant, accustomed to looking death in the eye: do you think she gives a damn about the baloney of the art and photography world? In the end I figured out that she is not a photographer: she is a human being who’s furious to find herself living in such a foul world.”