Photographer Francesco Romoli’s project Dark City was born out of his desire to blur the lines between real and unreal. In creating miniature scenes and dioramas of a fictional city, he constructs a dream-like area where nothing is as it seems, where certainties vanish and definitions are ambiguous.
Dark City was made using two very different photographic techniques – digital and analogue. He breaks down the images into two categories; Reality Show, which he captured using a Polaroid, and Possible Worlds, which were made with a digital camera and image manipulation. According to Romoli, both techniques are often seen as being at odds with one other. Digital photography is viewed as more objective, like a mirror of reality, and analogue, as being more ambiguous. In combining the two techniques, both series show us a different point of view, but still share a common theme.
Romoli characterizes his style as very surreal, taking inspiration from science fiction and fantasy. Even as a young child he was interested in dioramas and after seeing dollhouses a few years ago, he decided to start this project. The combination of digital and instant photography proved to be a perfect way to push the boundaries of his creative work.
All images © Francesco Romoli