In 1984 the city of Bologna invited a number of international photographers to interpret the city. Of the resulting portfolios one was selected for an exhibition and a book. Published only in Italian and long out of print, to many lovers of photography outside of Italy, ‘a Bologna’ is Sam’s lost masterpiece.
The prints now reside in Bologna’s Cineteca’s Photographic Archive
Sam took Bologna’s juxtaposition of modern/ancient, youth/tradition, pious/secural and fused it with his own passion for montage in image making. Characteristic of his location work he completed the task with amazing speed shooting the whole book in about ten days and then spending about six weeks in his studio working on the black and white prints and montages. Mixing colour and black and white presented him with no formulaic or dogmatic contradictions – he just did it and it worked.
The book and exhibition have recently (2009) been the subject of a thesis produced by Ms Fabiana Gabrielli a History of Art student at Bologna university. To the best of my knowledge this is the first time that a single Sam Haskins project has formed the basis of an academic study. Someday an inspired soul will take a deep look at Cowboy Kate and the book’s sustained influence on image making and fashion.
We posted to the blog in 2007 about ‘a Bologna’ and for the sake of reference cohesion, images not included in the list above are repeated below.