Federico Ciamei was born in Rome in 1974 and currently lives in Milan. He is a photographer and designer. His ongoing research, which focuses on the most ironic aspects of the everyday life, led him to the production of his curious and striking project “80s SWM seeks LTR” (2012). The title is the acronym for the phrase “80 years old Single White Male searching for a Long Term Relationship,” introducing us into the little known world of online love announcements by American old men. Immediately, it is possible to perceive the liveliness and the wish to continue enjoying life with someone who might share your same interests.
These announcements make some specific requests. For instance, “Here I am-still interested in living and enjoying life and connecting with my fellow adventurers. I just started dancing about 4 years ago and feel so lucky that I can dance up a storm-can feel the music controlling my emotions-dancing for the pure pleasure of feeling so alive and marveling at the wonder of still being able to express who I am.”
Or “I am upbeat, approachable, non-judgmental, friendly and basically a happy babe. People usually notice my appearance first. I love to dress up and am considered somewhat of a fashionista. I do like the attention I receive when I wear an outfit that is a little provocative. I have to admit that I still have romantic feelings and hope that one day I will be able to express physically these feelings. ” (Excerpts from online profiles).
Obviously, every announcement is matched with a picture which portrays the old author of the message as best as it can.
Federico Ciamei’s role is that of disclosing for us this reality, which is apparently bizarre, but reveals itself to be deeply poetic and touching image after image. As a silent observer, the author takes pictures directly of the screen, as if he would not alter the essential technological and virtual quality which makes everything the more captivating and allows us to understand how times change and how the Italian situation is possibly somehow still far from this… for better or worse.
“80s SWM seeks LTR” has been published independently as a photo book.
Federico Ciamei’s works have been shown at the Internetional Festival of Photography in Rome, the Street Style (2007), the Big Bang TV (2008), Villaggio Olimpico in Rome (2010), and Photocapalbio (2009). His photos have been published on national and international magazines (Le Monde, Stern, L’Espresso, Geo, Vanity Fair, GQ, Traveller, Monopol).