"Sergio Romagnoli was killed in 1994. He was 37 years old. Despite an official investigation at the time and subsequent enquiries by his family, the circumstances surrounding his murder have never been fully explained and remain a mystery to this day. At the time of his murder, Sergio and his wife were living on Sao Tomè and Príncipe, a small island nation in the Gulf of Guinea off the West Coast of Central Africa. They had ventured there to do voluntary work in an orphanage for visually impaired children during a particularly tragic moment in their lives; following as it did, the recent death of their baby son Luigi, who had died after a serious illness at the age of one."
The result of many years work, the photographs gathered in A Drop In the Ocean date from the '70s and '80s and are but a few of the many thousands taken by the Italian Naturalist Sergio Romagnoli during his all too brief lifetime. The primary interest for the curators, Alessandro Calabrese and Milo Montelli, besides their natural human fascination for an incredible story, lay in the opportunity to interact with a rough body of images free of any artistic claim.
Sergio's images reveal themselves with a tangible purity; comforting companions during the many hours that the curators spent leafing through his archives, photo albums and ephemera. Seemingly simple yet highly proficient, Sergio's photographs demonstrate an acute visual sensitivity, closely connected to factual reality yet powerfully evocative of the viewer's own experiences; an evocation of journeys, encounters and study aimed at discovering, knowing and understanding. The act of seeing as common denominator.
Photographs that could easily be defined as merely amateurish blend into others of a more technical and scientific nature, all driven by an almost obsessive need to catalogue life, especially the plant kingdom. In presenting the relationship between such different approaches – however detached by labile boundaries – the aim of the curators is to give voice to the unconsciously authorial potential lying within the photographer's body of work. A potential which would otherwise never be brought to light. More than a mere collection of dusty archive photographs, A Drop In The Ocean was conceived, with honour and gratitude, as a creative homage to Sergio Romagnoli's life and work.
500 copies 106 pages, 84 colour plates 2 6pp gatefolds 21.0 cm x 26.0 cm Hot foil embossed printed pearlescent hardcover Offset printing Éditions du LIC 2014 ISBN 978-82-93341-06-2