Marco Vernaschi is an Italian photographer based in Argentina famous for his provocative works. “I had started to question what being a photographer is actually about and the path my work was taking. I’ve never been interested in being a “witness” in the way it’s commonly meant in today’s photojournalism. I’ve always preferred to provide a personal insight, a subjective perspective…”, says Vernaschi. He has been working on his long-term project devoted to organized crime, child sacrifice, organ trafficking, terrorism and drug dealing in West Africa. One of his projects was dedicated to the president of Bolivia Evo Morales and his policy on coca crops. It was unprecedented indeed. Thus the project Bolivia: Broken Promises is supposed to be one of the most honest and terrifying projects of the 2000s.
Visiting Madagascar Vernaschi created a project Tales of Hope devoted to child prostitution, AIDS and environmental problems caused by primitive forms of agriculture. The series is disturbing and difficult for accepting as well.
Placebo is a series devoted to his life. “The name Placebo, was chosen as my intention was to use this project to understand my life better – and to heal”. Working on the project Vernaschi tried to cure himself from memories he had, from fears, from losses. “It’s the attempt to see through my being, a therapeutic but still illusory process. It’s about the experience, about the willingness to dig deeply into those dark places that reveal another side of myself. Placebo is me, naked”. Looking at the pictures of the series it becomes obvious that the whole project was influenced by his life experience, by everything he had seen in West Africa. It is disturbing and breathtaking as his previous projects. In fact it is really difficult to distinguish this autobiographical project from the other series. It provocative and seems to be unprecedented. “Sex and death are the two universes that people fear the most, which is why we often censor the images portraying these subjects. We’re afraid of them, and there’s so much truth within sex and death”. So in fact the photographer doesn’t pay much attention to the morality or any social conventions and limitations. His project is some kind of a reflection of William Blake’s words from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom”. So in fact it became his life philosophy he expressed in his project.