The exhibition “Extraordinary Visions. L’Italia ci guarda” opens to the public on 2 June, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the birth of the Italian Republic to which MAXXI is paying tribute. “Extraordinary Visions. L’Italia ci guarda” – through to 23 October 2016 – has been curated by Margherita Guccione, director of MAXXI Architettura, together with a MAXXI research group composed of Simona Antonacci, Ilenia D’Ascoli, Laura Felci and Monia Trombetta.
“Extraordinary Visions. L’Italia ci guarda”
June 2 – October 23, 2016
Gallery 3, MAXXI Rome
via Guido Reni 4A,
Starting out from the works present in the MAXXI collections, the show will feature images of sublime landscapes and others compromised by decay, ideal cities and rundown suburbs, great architecture and marginal urban spaces, behaviours and customs, protagonists in the worlds of art and work, contradictions and pluralities that make up the identity of the Belpaese, immortalised through the lenses of, among others, Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico, Letizia Battaglia, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Franco Fontana, Giovanni Gastel, Luigi Ghirri, Mimmo Jodice, Armin Linke, Ugo Mulas, Ferdinando Scianna, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Massimo Vitali.
The exhibition will also feature the project Corpi di Reato by Tommaso Bonaventura, Alessandro Imbriaco and Fabio Severo: 35 small format photographs and the large print Fascicoli del Maxi Processo 1986-1987, Palermo that recounts the invisible yet diffuse mafias and that will be added to the MAXXI Architettura collection thanks to the support of the Amici del MAXXI.
“MAXXI is celebrating seventy years of the Republic of Italy with a major photographic exhibition – says Giovanna Melandri, President of MAXXI Foundation -, poetic, documentary, social and institutional “atlas” of the Italy of the last thirty years”. As Margherita Guccione says: “The exhibition is a visual journey via over one hundred photographs of the natural and cultural landscapes of the Italy of the last 30 years; photos that present an image far from the stereotype of the Belpaese and also construct a journey in terms of the idioms and the most advanced experimentation of contemporary photography.”
The exhibition layout presents four sections (Art, architecture, culture; Res Publica; Paesaggi contemporanei; Comunità, Lavoro), enriched by videos and photo projections and by the special project Inside Out by JR, installed in the museum piazza.
Arte architettura, cultura | The exhibition opens with representations of the worlds of art, architecture, culture and fashion that underlie our national identity. The portraits of the artist of the Venice Biennale by Ugo Mulas and the photographs of Massimo Piersanti contained in the Graziella Lonardi Buontempo archive dialogue with architectural masterpieces photographed by greats such as Gabriele Basilico with the GIL building by Luigi Moretti in Rome. The constructions of the Foro Italico act as a backdrop to the fashion portraits of Giovanni Gastel that celebrate the Made in Italy phenomenon, while the images by Ferdinando Scianna, realised for the first Dolce & Gabbana advertising campaign integrated anthropological research and fashion photography.
Res pubblica | This section includes the work by Armin Linke, Il Corpo dello Stato, in which the artist investigates the “secret” rooms of power, the physical places in which decision making power is exercised. In this reflection on public space and its use, Sicily stands as a mirror of the contradictions that are rife throughout the peninsular: the photographs of ecological protest by Letizia Battaglia confront the new forms of a mafia that is part of the system, insinuated in the municipalities, as testified by the project Corpi di reato by Alessandro Imbriaco, Tommaso Buonaventura and Fabio Severo, photographic documentation of the residences of members of mafia organizations found throughout Italy.
Paesaggi contemporanei | Sicily and Italy in general express a sublime, signified, pacific physicality. Certainly an image established in the collective imagination and frequently stereotypical. The gaze of a historic generation of photographers has focused on the relationship between this image and the post-modern panorama that has redefined the suburbs of our cities and above all from the 1980s onwards they have devoted themselves to rewriting the image of Italy: Luigi Ghirri, Mario Cresci, Guido Guidi. Another, equally intense, interpretation is that of Franco Fontana who offers an alienating and ecstatic vision of those landscapes.
Comunità, lavoro | From the landscape to the body, in a return to man as the central element and the activator of forces and intellectual and productive energies. In the final section of the exhibition, the world of work is recounted in the historical testimony of Tano D’Amico and Paola Agosti (the strikes, the sit-ins, female labour), from the images of refineries by Paolo Pellegrin to the more recent images of public competitions documented by Michele Borzoni.
In each section, a focus is dedicated to new horizons, to the research that is contaminating the idioms of video and photography. These include the installation by Petra Noordkamp dedicated to Gibellina, in which video shooting is treated like the static image of photography; the installation by Alterazioni video dedictaed to the unfinished architecture of Sicily; the “fast forward” to which Olivo Barbieri subjects the almost 8,000 images of La città perfetta; the video on the issue of immigration by the reporter Francesco Zirzola.
INSIDE OUT by JR at MAXXI: Costruiamo la comunità del XXI secolo
Lastly, the work Costruiamo la comunità del XXI secolo (Let’s build the community of 21st century), curated by the museum’s Education Department, with which MAXXI is participating in the project Inside Out by JR (a photo-paster of French origins and unconfirmed identity, winner of the TED Prize 2011). On the basis of a workshop with pupils from the Guido Alessi school in Rome held in April (during which the pupils visited MAXXI and expressed their emotions which were “fixed” in black and white portraits) a large collective art work was created, a kaleidoscope of 250 portraits of the students that will be exhibited on an outside wall of MAXXI, offering a view of the multi-ethnic Italy of tomorrow.
PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE EXHIBITION
Arte architettura, cultura. Gabriele Basilico, Paola De Pietri, Giovanni Gastel, Francesco Jodice, Ugo Mulas, Petra Noordkamp, Massimo Piersanti, Ferdinando Scianna, Hiroshi Sugimoto
Res pubblica: Alterazioni video, Letizia Battaglia, Massimo Berruti, Gianni Cipriano and Simone Donati, Alessandro Imbriaco Tommaso Bonaventura and Fabio Severo, Armin Linke, Francesco Zizola
Paesaggi contemporanei: Olivo Barbieri, Andrea Botto, Silvia Camporesi, Giovanni Chiaramonte, Mario Cresci, Franco Fontana, Luigi Ghirri, Guido Guidi, Giuseppe Leone, Walter Niedermayr, Massimo Vitali, Begoña Zubero Apodaca
Comunità, lavoro: Paola Agosti, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Michele Borzoni, Tano D’Amico, Mimmo Jodice, Erich Lessing, Paolo Pellegrin, Mustafa Sabbagh, Mario Spada, Francesco Zizola