“Photosequences” at Osart Gallery, Milan
Curated by Daniela Palazzoli
On March 28, 2018 Osart Gallery, Milan, the group show PHOTOSEQUENCES presents ten historical photographic works made between 1969 and 1979 by Vito Acconci, Vincenzo Agnetti, Peter Hutchinson, Duane Michals, Dennis Oppenheim, Gina Pane, Mario Schifano, Aldo Tagliaferro.
The exhibition aims to analyze the photographic medium according to the concept of sequence. The sequence, in fact, in addition to “animate” the image, gives the work a narrative rhythm that transforms it into a real story. Artists here represented, despite their belonging to different artistic movements, have in common the use of the photographic sequence to tell about themselves, their loved ones, their ideas, without excluding the viewer, indeed, assigning him an active function and not only contemplative one.
Peter Hutchinson is considered the most representative artist of Narrative Art especially for his innovative way of distancing the relationship between photography and writing. The artwork The Visit (1972), in fact, builds the path our brain performs when we look at an image and when we let ourselves be guided by the meaning of words.
In the photographic sequences by Vito Acconci (Margins, 1969), Gina Pane (Je, 1972) and Dennis Oppenheim (2 image transfer drawing, 1975) the reference to Body Art is evident. The human body, also represented in its emotional sphere, becomes the way in which artists study themselves and humans. In fact, in these three works the artist is also the protagonist, playing the role of the intruder in Je, emphasizing his presence – and at the same time absence – in Margins, portraying the past and future version of himself in 2 image transfer drawing.
Looking at the Italian scene, the works by Vincenzo Agnetti (Autotelefonata, 1974), Mario Schifano (Polaroids, 1974) and Aldo Tagliaferro (Io ritratto, 1979) tackle the inexorable advance of mass media and the consequent psychological reflection in an innovative and dialectical way on himself. In fact, in 1974, these three great artists participated in the exhibition Fotomedia at the Museum am Ostwall in Dortmund, curated by Daniela Palazzoli, thanks to which the Italian conceptual photography had one of the first awards in the world art scene.
The portrait of Bill Brandt (1973), however, is a real tribute to the personified photography from one of its main protagonists. The sequence, consisting of nine images, reveals the superlative photographic creativity of Duane Michals, active for more than fifty years. To fully understand, it is enough to quote two sentences that convey his idea of photography: “The key word is expression, neither photography, nor painting, nor writing” (…) and “When you look at my photographs you are looking at my thoughts.”
In all the works participating in PHOTOSEQUENCES the artist wants to tell through the photographic means a thought, an event, a feeling. This feeds our curiosity and invites us to let go of the flow of ideas, images and emotions to be discovered ” … so that I participate in THE OTHER” (cit. Gina Pane).
at Osart Gallery, Milan
until 26 May