Il Circo

Text & photography by Leonardo Pellegatta

Modeselektor & Thom Yorke – This
Monkeytown (2011)

My ongoing work about the circus started in 1997 in Milan. It shares the journeys of three Italian circus families: the Franchetti (Circus Barcellona), the Casartelli (Medrano) and the Togni (Darix Togni and American Circus).

Year after year, I was able to see new things through the perspective of the big top: the circus people, their show, their backstage work, and their continuous journeys. The bonds forged inside a small circus family became familiar to me. Sometimes the Circus was transforming itself, becoming exactly how I think it should be: an amalgamation of fantasy and creative power.

 Il Circo

Medrano and Darix Togni are big circuses well known in Europe. The Barcellona is a small family-structured circus. Spending a long time with the Barcellona circus, I can see how people of this family and the Big Top are entwined so tightly, connected as in symbiosis. The big top seems to me like an extension of the body of the circus people—all the important moments in life, such as birthdays and marriages, are celebrated under the Big Top.

The Big Top preserves the identity of the circus and is a magical entity. It discloses an unexpected reality to the children in the audience, while revealing to the circus children their own craft and destiny.

 Il Circo

 Il Circo

From N˚4: Flight.