On show will be thirty images belonging to the artistic and photographic fashion known as Orientalism, side by side with works by seven contemporary Italian and foreign artists.
The antique photographs belong to a private compilation of images of Egypt collected by an Italian diplomat between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. These are portraits, landscapes, boats, and scenes from daily life taken by three great protagonists of the time: Felix Bonfils, Hippolyte Arnoux, and the Zangaki brothers. Particularly precious and rare are the images of the opening of the Suez canal. These rigorously black and white albumin prints will be shown together with works by Gabriele Basilico, Luca Campigotto, Daniela Comani, Lynn Davis, Tarin Gartner, Shirin Neshat, and Marco Zanta.
In the exhibition will be panoramas, landscapes, and people from the Near, Middle, and Far East. In the video Pulse, by Shirin Neshat, one of the most relevant artists on the contemporary scene, the focal point is that of the condition of women in the Islamic world. The protagonist of Gabriele Basilico’s fascinating black and white images is Istanbul: fashinating city, meeting point of two worlds, Europe and Asia. The images of the young Israeli Tarin Gartner, who has lived in Italy for some years, are ironic, serene, and sunny.
Marco Zanta, a young Italian photographer of landscapes and architecture with a bright future ahead of him, presents highly coloured and hyper-technological images of Japan.
The relationship between Japan and Europe is the theme of the extremely original video by Daniela Comani who, for years, has lived in Berlin. Here we are dealing with a continual superimposition of images of Moscow and Tokyo: a kind of visual Trans-Siberian railway. Egypt is the central theme of Luca Campigotto’s photos. They are formally highly elegant images that in a certain sense take us back to a nineteenth century
atmosphere of pyramids, sphinxes, and desert landscapes. The images of the American Lynn Davis also convey an archaeological impression. Through a knowing use of light and technique they perfectly evoke atmospheres and situations marked by a strange temporal vagueness. So this, then, is a particular, transversal show, one that goes beyond trends and movements and that develops in an iconographical way in the attempt to reconstruct some hundred and fifty years of history.