Alvaro DEPRIT (photos, design), Erik Vroons (text), Michele PALERMO (Book Design)


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"In the 70s and 80s, the Tabernas desert near Almeria in Southern Spain became the Hollywood of Westerns. It was here that legendary filmmaker Sergio LEONE made movies like 'Once Upon a Time in the West', 'For a Fistful of Dollars', 'For a Few Dollars More' and 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', making the desert of Tabernas, with its landscapes, movies sets, and relatively low cost, a point of reference for many ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ that were filmed there in the 1970′s and 80′s.

In the 90s, filmmakers stopped making movies in Almeria mainly because the conditions were no longer affordable. The film sets were turned into fair-grounds or were abandoned, and the people who worked and lived around the cinema circuit, such as stuntmen and extras, dedicated themselves to doing Western performances to attract tourists. The performances for tourists evoke an era that is disappearing, and the faces of the performers reveals their melancholy expectation of an end that has already been announced.
Still, the melancholy does not only come from the end of a golden era in the cinema: in the current scenario the site has become an imitation of an imitation. Attracting performers that offer re-enactments of western glory as once done by actors and stuntmen that used the site as an imitation of American landscapes.

The book features Illustrations by Francesco De Aguilar MILANESE and was designed by Michele PALERMO." (publisher's note)

"'Dreaming Leone' involves a heady mix of nostalgia and history and with that, a complex intertwining of different ways of aesthetic communication.
There exists a certain kind of appearance, images, that question two things: their origin and the aim for which they have been produced. While their ‘truthfulness’ is mainly a matter of mimetic representation, their ‘goal’ is more concerned with a poetic form of visualization, a knowledge that we recognize as ‘art’. On the one hand, what is being revealed here is the wealth of a certain period in cinema. These so called ‘spaghetti westerns’, however, were already heavily ignited with romanticism and certainly cannot be seen as truthful reenactments of a bygone era and all the more as creations of historical fiction. Meanwhile, the work of Alvaro Deprit is also a photographic ‘reportage’ of the revival of these filmsets and, with that, the documentation of a myth; a registration of ‘retronauting’.
History is not a matter of one-way traffic but, rather, something that is fueled by both ‘mimesis’ and ‘poiesis’. Photography and cinema are as much resemblances of matter of fact as that they are a poetic action of transforming and continuing the world, and the images in 'Dreaming Leone' are functioning as the aperture of that matrix." (Erik Vroons)

Dieses selbst verlegte Fotobuch des spanischen Fotografen Alvaro DEPRIT ist aus der Liebe zu den Italo-Western des legendären Sergio Leone entstanden, die in den 70er und 80er Jahren im Süden Spaniens, in der Gegend um Almeria gedreht wurden. Mit der Abwanderung der Produktionen oder dem Aussterben des Genres verlor die Gegend nicht nur an filmischem Glanz.

Die dokumentarischen Aufnahmen mit einem Touch narrativer Fotografie zeigen Stuntmen und andere Schauspieler in Western-Posen, die dieses Genre mit der für ihn eher untypischen Melancholie zusammen bringen. Alvaro Desprit hat mit dem Illustratoren Francesco De Aguilar Milanese und der Designerin Michela Palermoseinem Buch ein neues Fotobuch-Genre erschaffen und wieder gezeigt, welchj innovative Kraft in der spanischen Fotobuch-Kultur steckt. Feliz Espana!