2016 – On New Italian Photography
Curated by Fantom
From Wednesday 8 June to Friday 16 September 2016
Opening: Tuesday 7 June 2016, from 6 pm to 9 pm
Press Preview: Tuesday 7 June 2016, 5 pm
Opening Times: from Monday to Friday, 12 pm to 7 pm
Mornings and Saturdays by appointment only. Closed in August
Venue: VIASATERNA, Via Leopardi 32, Milan; Tel. +39 02.36725378; www.viasaterna.com
2016 – On New Italian Photography features works by Alessandro Calabrese, Federico Clavarino, Martina Corà, Bea De Giacomo, Teresa Giannico, Delfino Legnani, Allegra Martin, Vittoria Mentasti, Domingo Milella, Francesco Nazardo, Alessandro Sambini, Lele Saveri and The Cool Couple. It is an initial reconnaissance undertaken by VIASATERNA on the contemporary Italian photography scene, of which it captures the great vitality through the work of 13 artists chosen on the basis of their originality and the heterogeneity of their various research paths, identified as the key elements representing those to be found throughout the nation. All born post-1980, the artists in 2016 have also been chosen on the basis of their proximity to Fantom – the collective curating both this show and the Viasaterna exhibition programme ever since its inauguration – the various activities and research trajectories of which, over the years, the artists have been involved in.
The exhibition is accompanied by a selection of publications from recently founded publishing houses, largely independent, both from Italy and abroad, including Dalpine, Discipula, Humboldt, NASTYNASTY©, Planar Books, Rorhof, Skinnerboox and many others. A fundamental
contribution to the spread of work by Italian artists abroad, to their aggregation and the renewal of a whole system, Publishing is the 14th protagonist of this show, the driving force behind the establishment of photography – of Italian photography in particular – thanks to its capillary and accessible nature.
2016 – On New Italian Photography does not acknowledge or promote a specific line of research. There is no school. No recurring theme. No common style. On the contrary, it is in the very lack of a macroscopic shared principle – in terms of its positive fragmentation – that it identifies the
distinctive characteristic and richness of a unique and dynamic scenario.
There is no shortage of pure photography, with the landscapes of Domingo Milella, majestic interrogatives on man’s relationship with history and with the environment he inhabits, and both rigorous and luminous architectural views by Allegra Martin. Others reappraise, manipulate, transform and hybridise some of the typical codes of photography: Francesco Nazardo and Bea De Giacomo start out from fashion photography imagery, and Delfino Legnani from that of commercial photography, grafting them onto the corpus of contemporary research; Vittoria Mentasti frees reportage from the need of an event; Lele Saveri blends together the most archetypal documentation of civil protests with the schemas of typological seriality, thereby achieving an estranging effect. Then there are works revolving around the principle of narrative: Federico Clavarino provides the spectator with all the clues necessary to organise a story within a noir-edged context; Alessandro Sambini questions the whole narrative framework of the communication system; The Cool Couple tell stories of political and civil interest in sarcastic and surreal tones. Lastly, some artists intervene on the language of photography itself, altering its relationship with reality: Alessandro Calabrese presents a sort of super-photography, partly illegible, through the overlapping of various layers of imagery; Teresa Giannico photographs cardboard environments build with other photographs, triggering an irremediable short circuit; Martina Corà draws on pre-existing images and presents them on peculiar supports, thus creating mysterious photographic objects.
2016 - On New Italian Photography 2016 features all this in a single event. Without classifications or hierarchies, but on the contrary, juxtaposing and combining radically diverse themes, poetics and aesthetics. The multiplication of styles, interests and points of view constitutes the characterising element of this new Italian photography. There is no contraction towards a single point, but rather expansion, dilation, breadth and multiplicity. This is what lies behind its great vivacity over the last few years, which has led to numerous international awards, marking a time of great expansion. The starting line is a noble and well-rooted tradition; the finishing line is a series of experiences that feed on both internal and external elements, ones both articulated and disarming. It’s a single flow which takes a different direction each time. Thus deviations. With tributaries and inflows. Without control. Creating a tight-knit network that holds together its visionary nature with mathematical discipline.