Txt: Massimo Schiavoni / Eng: Ornella Pesenti



Roland Barthes highlights on “La chambre claire” how photography is no more than an object of three practices where Operator is the photographer, Spectator is everybody and the last one is Spectrum, as this word keeps a certain relation with “show”.

The Spectrum of our contemporary society and particularly in art, is taking more and more the connotations of an interior world related to the artist, a personal micro-cosmos where sensibilities, fears and desires are imprisoned by a photo-machine that now with the digital has short execution time in favor of an immediate snapshot that can be real or modified. Well, photography from 60’s had the faculty and the ability to “record” artistic events, which is art on art, remembering snapshots of Kaprow or Morris and documentations of happenings and parties of post-conceptual artists. The analogical image century – as Pierre Sorlin says – was signed by a full faith in the truth of the analogical representation and its attitude in describing objectively things. […] The analogical image triumphed not because near to the real human, but because public emphasized its revealing power and waited for it to reinforce the authority of the man in the world”.

Nowadays the public is used to revelation of photography thanks to television and cinema; it can emphasize the power of the digital image as well, where representation is something built or imagined, and the elaboration and metamorphosis rules and conditions our relation with visual.

Padova will host until 22 nd March these realities, these transversal analogical-digital phenomena and these new and own identities at the Sottopasso Gallery of the Stua, thanks to Sguardi Interiori, exhibition promoted by the local authority of the Cultural and Spectacle Politics – National Center of Photography managed by Enrico Gusella.

This event is inserted into the series “Stories of women” and presents the works of a group of women artists that investigates dynamics and events of a daily routine related to the body as well as to the interpersonal relationships. “The artistic contemporary production – the curator writes – most of all photography, video and performance – has seen in the last decades women point of view as the diamond tip for a research that investigates territories never explored before, which reveal the absolute originality about the comprehension of behaviors and relational dynamics in different social environments. The body turns into the symbol of the interrelations that link the human being to the cosmos, following a vision that looks to the public and private space through a bright and deep research that brings the personal experience as motivation and strength to build a own poetic”.

Marina Abramovich, Vanessa Beecroft, Isabella Bona, Giulia Caira, Silvia Camporesi, Tea Giobbio, Nan Goldin, Mona Hatoum, Barbara La Ragione , Mara Mayer, Shirin Neshat, Pipilotti Rist and Cindy Sherman have different educations and cultures. They move and interpret the world around them with deep sensitivity and attentive but also ambiguous, social and anthropological themes. The images show a privileged protagonist feminine figure. Artists try to grab, investigate and give back their relation with that figure through an approach and an aesthetic extremely personal and strong.

Abramovich put on view her performance “Rithym 0” , shown in Naples for the first time, in an analogical image. The artist, who explores her territory problems, her affective memories and her love relations, feels this work. The theatrical dimension resides also into the works of Vanessa Breecroft, in VB 25.074 of 1996, and also into Pipilotti Rist works, who exhibits Untitled of 1994. The first one faces themes such as the identity, the body and the sexuality, investing her models of insignificance without seduction, but always able to represent their social role and exert it on others. The second one builds video with tons of special effects that paint a feminine identity able to face also unexpected situations, founded on pleasure and creativity.

There’s also who, insisting on portrait, uses the camera as instrument of penetration of people and their comprehension. As Giulia Caira, for example, with “Untitled” of 1999 or Tea Gobbio with “Un Viaggio: autoritratti” of 2006 or Shirin Neshat with “Birthmarks” of 1995. Some other artists, such as Isabella Bona with “Metamorfosi” or Silvia Camporesi with “Il latte e la carne 1 e 2” , upset time and space concept, unhinging the laws of “here now”, bringing the existing to a condition of otherness and generating possible worlds. It is frequent, between the artworks in the exhibition, the camouflage, as Cindy Sherman does with “Untitled 124a”. She uses her body as screen to project the roles women are driven to assume in their life. Anyway it is evident and constant the extraordinary generative ability of the images.

Annamaria Sandonà writes: “Photography became a necessary middle to demonstrate in first person thoughts and contradictions of women world, in a show of problems that are part of a social dimension of the human behaviors. […] The boundaries of what is real and what is false fall down. Better, the photographic sets become a theatre scene where the artist imaginary can create situations where the identity doubts prevail”. This scene becomes everyday life for Nan Goldin, where in “Nan Goldin at the bat, Toon, C and So” of 1992 she talks about her and her friends that can be gay or trans, but they are represented without censorship, showing their real and whole person.

Photography became art through Theatre. As Nadar allowed us to enter a infra-knowledge of reality, deepening the ethnographic characteristics throughout a collection of “partial” objects, in the same way but with different modalities we had the opportunity to enter this world through all these contemporary shoots. In this case, the feminine world makes aware more than the masculine one, which often talks about too many egoistic and personal themes.

f photography is a way to imprison or immobilize reality, as Susan Sontag says, this possession depersonalizes our relation with the world, allowing a participation and alienation of our lives at the moment when we look at Goldin, Breecroft, Giobbio or Caira’s artworks. New Nadar daughters, through portraits, elaborations, visions and emotions have unhinged the clichés of ritual representation, inventing new points of view and new immediate and humanized perceptions, offering the History as Barthes intend it, substantially our exclusion, and reality as immersion and share