[Editor's note: "Montreal couple's photo exhibition – which includes a shot of a scuba diver ready to take the plunge – is a fun and fulfilling way of looking at our urban curse."]
Republished from the Montreal Gazette.
They’re as Montreal as smoked meat, street hockey and the two-cheek kiss. They sprout like mushrooms in the spring thaw. They wreck car suspensions, wreak havoc on cyclists and give our city a Third World veneer: potholes.
Spring had just sprung this year when Davide Luciano and Claudia Ficca were cruising through Outremont in their 1997 Jetta and they hit a big one, “really hard.” “Six hundred dollars later, we came up with the idea of using potholes in a positive light,” explained Toronto-born filmmaker Luciano, 31.
“We started thinking, ‘What’s useful about these craters, what good can we bring to our city?’ ” said Ficca, 27, a recent Concordia University graduate in Italian language and literature. As both are photographers, they began imagining scenarios for a series that might be called Theme and Variations on the Pothole. They recruited family and friends, and got started.
“They were game enough to put themselves out there, in the middle of the street, dress up like fools – and be laughed at by drivers,” Ficca said of their subjects. They started shooting a few weeks after replacing the rear suspension on the Jetta. The photo sessions were mainly done during the evening rush hour, when subjects and natural light were available.
Drivers stopped in amazement and passersby laughed, the couple said. Most understood that this was about having fun with our urban curse. “We rented or borrowed props, called our friends, and took it from there,” Luciano remarked. It was a team effort for the couple, who took turns shooting with a Nikon D 80.
The first shot was of clothes being washed in a pothole. The next was a diver set to plunge. Then came a scuba diver, with flippers, ready for “the deep.”
A gardener was shot planting flowers in potholes. And Luciano posed as a “wine maker” squashing grapes barefoot in a nice hole.
Each photo is named for the street on which it was shot, and the series will be on exhibit Wednesday night.