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Photography is an ongoing quest of the absolute – as, in the very end, any other way of self actualization. It is a way to chase the most compelling metaphors and grasp the ultimate meaning of life; to feel contact with the sublime – “to poise miraculously on a knife-edge of existence ... while ... coping with the abyss of our own eventual certain death” (Ellard 2015).

​The built environment – the city is the theater of this quest – the spaces around me, the spaces I’m in, the spaces I cross. Spaces so full of “built”, solid matter whose systemic aggregation granularly shapes our identities. For: “Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind” (Mumford 1938).

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I am those spaces – the spaces around me, the spaces I’m in, the spaces I cross. And yet: I am my environment. Even my “genes [like everyone's] are regulated by all the incarnation of environment” (Sapolsky 2017). “Whether we like it or even realize it, places envelop us in feelings, direct our movements, change our opinions and our decisions" (Ellard).

​It might turn out that all these photographs are just an endless series of self-portraits. In the meantime let us indulge in metaphors; let us talk about the city. Let us talk about us.



Born and raised in Rome long time ago, I graduated in architecture at "La Sapienza" in 2003 with a photography book.

In 2004 I worked at a fine-art traditional photography lab. There were films, chemicals, basins and old projectors in that basement.

When I moved to the Netherlands in 2006 I started working as an architect. Then my career turned into freelancing as an architectural photographer.

Like a pioneer of myself, I looked around, worked hard and set out on a journey. I explored and I sailed. I docked somewhere else, lingered there for a while – until finally I got lost. I had to look up for my compass again.

So I started to “walk on through the dark, cause that’s where the next morning is” (Springsteen 2020}.

all images © massimiliano murra
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