HOTSPRINGS, is a book by Federico Tovoli
Water is the fundamental element of life, the warmth of feelings of well-being.
People in hot water are fine, the clouds of steam seem to separate people from their everyday life to wrap themselves in a dream dimension, blurred by steam, people seem something else than their “dry” life.
In the hot water of the spa people relax, conscious of the beneficial virtues of the waters, they let themselves go to thoughts, meditations, sipping deep sensations favored by the liquid and warm element.
People are also a bit funny in that context, discovering their physical defects, surrounding themselves with accessories like slippers and bathrobes “that accompany” the experience of the waters.
In the hot water of the thermal baths all seem the same and this was confirmed by my journey through the thermal zones in the world, started many years ago around a simple intuition when I was immersed in the water of the Slovenian spa in Catez. It was for me just a vacation, never done before then in that way, in so many friends and at the spa.
I began to observe the gazes of the other people, blessed and thoughtful,I was attracted to the shapes that were created with the clouds of steam, by the chiaroscuro in the exterior of that totally artificial plant.
On holiday in the Slovenian thermal baths of Catez and immersed in the natural warm water of a totally artificial plant, simply observing the people around me. I saw it, the modern man in contact with another time, close to that deep something of which the hot water well-being favors emersion.
I saw him, the modern man in contact with another time, close to that deep something of which the well-being of hot water favors the emergence.
I thought of “doing something” in photography without really knowing what, one of those long-term projects that many colleagues did but for me was the first time.
They were the last days of the year 2004, the next one was for me of great changes, from travel photographer that produced only destinations accessible to the tourist, I turned into a photo-journalist much more complete, I started the travels in South America and also began this project.
Living in Tuscany there were a couple of trips to Saturnia, the wild baths, in winter, in and out of the water, then to Petriolo, when I knew there was snow all around … but it was already leaving.
During my fourth South American trip that lasted 9 months in which I arrived from Ecuador to the extreme continental Argentine tip, in Ecuador I discovered a spa culture close to the volcanoes, native and Ecuadorian in the city to soak in the rain in the pools of Papallacta, which in Quichua language means “father earth”.
In the locker rooms that the flood caused by the eruption of the Thunguraua volcano had destroyed the year before, in the Baños de Ambato area.
And then the Hungarian spa culture between Habsburg solemnity and daily habits, in a snowy Budapest, huge puffs of steam and great shivers of cold to stay out of the water, including those few minutes at the Szecheny to get into a bathing suit in the pools at open.
I also returned to the “aquapark” of Catez where it all began and whose only difference compared to other water parks was to have thermal water. I could not miss Iceland, on this journey “soaking” around the world, I went there on purpose and discovered a country as beautiful as it was different from what I expected …
Friendly and cooperative people and six different pools in various parts of the country, where the meditative aspect alternated with the holiday more or less for tourists.
A country with puffs of steam coming out of the ground in the middle of the mountains, where the Blue Lagoon, the only one I knew before embarking on this project, turned out to be the most “tourist” place, in a negative sense … and with ten photos in twenty minutes I resolved the problem.
Apart from that such projects for me always remain open, let’s say that at this point a volume can be born and I can truthfully give the consideration that Mrs. Valerie Theveniaud-Violette made of Le Figaro’s photo department when she saw my work organized in portfolio:
“Through this project we see the universality of the wellness man, his being equal once he is stripped of his everyday life”.
Hospring is a project by the photojournalist: Federico Tovoli.