Les Plages du Var: les pieds dans l'eau (The Beaches of Var: Feet in the Water). Photographs by Massimo Vitali. Text by Sophie Biass-Fabiani. Design by Jean-Marc Ballée. Hôtel des Arts, Toulon, 2000. 136 pp. Octavo (small size). First edition. Stiff wrappers with metallic design. 64 color reproductions and 2 color illustrations.
"It has been postulated that one of the reasons for the success of the Düsseldorf School of photography is that it is the 'New History Painting'. If so, one of the main contemporary subjects... is leisure. In Les Plages du Var ... it is noticeable how often these precious strips of golden sand are wedged precariously between the desired nirvana of the sea, a haven from everyday care, and the despoiled urban wasteland that these sunbathers are trying to escape. Vitali's fascinating and highly detailed images tend to make the most of this irony. Full of sociological incident (details of which are picked out and enlarged to make separate 'pictures within pictures', printed on thin, semi-transparent paper that looks like paper napkins), they are a powerful indicator of how we crave nature at the same time as destroying it."--Parr and Badger, The Photobook: A History, Vol II