Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Italy of Photographers - 24 Artists' Tales at the New M9 Museum in Mestre-Venezia

Italy of Photographers at M9 - Photo: Cat Bauer
(Venice, Italy) The Italy of Photographers. 24 Artists' Tales is the first temporary exhibition specially developed for the new M9 Museum, a structural masterpiece designed by Sauerbruch Hutton that has transformed the heart of Mestre. Curated by Denis Curti, the distinguished art director of Casa dei Tre Oci, the exhibition in the enormous space on the third floor of the museum examines the 20th century as seen through Italian photography.

I wrote about M9 a couple of weeks ago:

M9, the New Multimedia Museum of the 20th Century in Mestre, will Blow Your Mind


M9 Staircase - Photo: Cat Bauer
The contributions of 24 singular Italian photographers capture their own perspective of 20th century Italy, each one adding their unique story with a specific project. For example, the revolutionary Venetian psychiatrist Franco Basaglia chose images shot by Gianni Berengo Gardi and Carla Cerati that documented the tragic conditions of mental institutions and included them in his 1969 book Dying of Class, a militant essay that would result in the landmark passage of Law 180 or the "Basaglia Law," which closed down all of Italy's psychiatric hospitals, replacing them with a range of community-based services of rehabilitation and prevention. The Basaglia Law had worldwide impact after other countries followed the Italian model.

The 24 Photographers
From Letizia Battaglia's Mafia in Palermo to Gabriele Basilico's Milan. Portraits of Factories to Mario De Biasi's The Fifties, all 24 artists allow us to see Italy through his or her eyes and lens.

In addition to the photographs on display, the exhibition includes a vast documentary archive about each individual artist, including video-interviews and documentaries, as well as about 100 books that the public can browse.

Denis Curti - 24 Artists' Tales - Photo: Cat Bauer
The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful catalogue published by Marsilio. From the introductory essay by Denis Curti:

"Seen all together, these photographs design a 'tranvsersality' that contributes to understanding the future. No prediction. Such 'transversality' does not just contain information. More importantly, it contains an invitation to look at the world from different points of view. And often, also present is a stage that, amidst lights and shadows, suggest what generated the change. Because photography is no doubt an ambiguous language, but it is also a concentrator of relationships and a distributor of doubts. In this sense, perhaps the photographers represented in this exhibition were never modern. At most, they were always advanced, the anticipators of a future time, pertinent narrators, the builders of emotional perimeters, capable of seeing memory as a prejudice. 
In the end, the leitmotif in all these stories is enclosed in that precise desire to give up the urge to say more than what reality actually holds within. 
It is the awareness of those who well know that if a thing is not photographed, then that thing does not exist. Because the world, seen from close up, always looks new and different."

The Italy of Photographers. 24 Artists' Tales opened to the public today and runs through June 16, 2019. Go to M9 for more information. (At the time of this writing, the English translation had not yet been posted.)

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat Bauer
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. The Italy of Photographers. 24 Artists' Tales is the first temporary exhibition specially developed for the new M9 Museum, a structural design masterpiece by Sauerbruch Hutton that has transformed the heart of Mestre. Curated by Denis Curti, the distinguished art director of Casa dei Tre Oci, the exhibition in the enormous space on the third floor of the museum examines the 20th century as seen through Italian photography.

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