A major exhibition in Palermo showcases the shots of Alexander Rodchenko

The Albergo dei Poveri in Palermo is hosting, from June 18 to September 23, 2018, the exhibition 'Alexander Rodchenko. Revolution in photography,' showcasing Rodchenko's shots.

“If you want to teach the human eye to see in a new way, it is necessary to show it everyday and familiar objects from totally unprecedented perspectives and angles and in unexpected situations.”

It is 1928 and it all starts with a Leica: Alexander Rodchenko is 37 years old and firmly believes that everything depends on the angle. It is the only way to balance the flat, established image of a society, the Russian society, that tends to massify every sigh. Rodchenko in his field was a revolutionary: having abandoned painting-but it will be a love requited to the end-he turned to photography and revolutionized the image by making it become the visual representation of dynamic intellectual constructions. The basis is the documentary relationship with reality, but it is the gaze and the lens that are different, as they are able to capture instantaneously the feelings of modern man.
Thanks to the curatorial work of the director of the Moscow Museum of Visual Arts, Olga Sviblova , and the organizational contribution of the director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Moscow, Olga Strada, a selection of more than 150 photographs, from the original negatives of the 1920s and 1930s, by the great Russian photographer, a leading exponent of the Soviet avant-garde of the 20th century, comes to Palermo.

"Alexander Rodchenko.Revolution in Photography,"
which opens Monday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Albergo dei Poveri, in Palermo, which will host it until Sept. 23, is promoted by the Regional Department of Cultural Heritage and Identity Sicilian, co-produced by Civita and Bridge Consulting, curated by the State-Financed Institution of Culture and Education of the City of Moscow and Multimedia Complex of ActualArts, will “inhabit” the rooms of the Albergo dei Poveri adjacent to the spaces occupied by the exhibition on reporter Robert Capa, thus building a true hub dedicated to photography, which can also be visited with a single ticket. The Palermo event represents a further stage of the exhibition of the same name that had been held this winter in Mantua.

The “revolutionary” Alexander Rodchenko (1891 - 1956) was undoubtedly one of the main generators of ideas of an extraordinary season, whose spirit he deeply embodied. The photographs, from the collection of the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow, selected by curator Olga Sviblova, tell the story of an artist who fathersa radical change in the way the nature of photography and the role of the photographer are conceived: instead of mere reflection of reality, photography also becomes a tool for the visual representation of dynamic intellectual constructions. In his photographic work, composition is combined with an authentic documentary approach and the ability to capture the feelings of modern man instantaneously.

Remembered as “the father of Soviet photography,” Rodchenko shapes an entirely unique style and visual language: the “Rodchenko Method” was born with him, which plays with diagonal compositions, foreshortened perspectives, unusual shooting points from bottom to top and vice versa. An enlarged detail tells more about a character, the detail of an architecture, narrates a city in motion.

The exhibition is part of a collaboration plan between the Sicilian Region and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage of the Russian Federation, as part of a strategy initiated by Vittorio Sgarbi and ARS President Gianfranco Miccichè.


The exhibition itinerary opens with the caricature self-portrait from 1922, displayed alongside a corpus of portraits, in which friends and family also appear, and the famous photographs "The Staircase" (1930) and "Girl with a Leica" (1934), which fully embody the innovative principles of the “Rodchenko method.” It continues with a selection of images on industrial reality collected in the short series: "AMO Automobile Factory"from 1929, dedicated to the automobile industry;“MoGES (Moscow Power Plant),” which documents the new power plant established in 1927 and the work of the workers. The verticality of modern buildings is captured in photographs of architecture and construction details, such as the famous "Fire escape (with a man)" from 1925.
Spectacular parades of gymnasts and athletes are featured in shots that depict the dynamic spirit and nascent social cohesion of 1930s Russia. Technology returns in the 1929 image of the Shukhov Tower and in the short series "Moscow Electric Bulb Factory" made at the turn of the 1920s and 1930s.The new Moscow is documented in the construction of the Culture Park and the newly paved streets of Leningrad; in the buildings designed by Ginzburg on Novinski Avenue and that of Mosselprom. The 1928 reportage documents the editorial office and archives of the “Gudok” newspaper and the construction of the canal connecting the White Sea with the Baltic Sea. A romantic and small section, tells outside the lines, about circus performers. In the entire history of Russian photography of the first half of the 20th century, Alexander Rodchenko is the only one to have left - through notes, draft articles and diaries - evidence and reflections on the art of a photographer-thinker, a participant in a historical cataclysm that had generated in him a dramatic conflict between conscious assumptions and an unconscious urge to create.

The son of stage designer Michail Michajlovič Rodčenko and laundress Ol’ga Evdokimovna, Aleksandr Michajlovič Rodčenko studied at the Kazan’ Art Institute, where he met his future wife, artist and lifelong companion, Varvara Stepanova. Through the poetry of Vladimir Majakovsky, he became acquainted with Russian Futurism and Suprematism. His first exhibition of canvases was in 1916 and was organized for him by Vladimir Tatlin. Discharged from military service, Rodchenko becomes a member of Narkompros (Commissariat for Education) and teaches at VChUTEIN (the State Institute of Art and Technology) where he becomes an expert in photomontages. He became acquainted with the work of directors Ä–jzenštejn and DzigaVertov, and with the latter he worked intensively producing posters for his films. In 1923 he made the cover for Majakovsky’s poem "Of This," and at the same time he came into contact with László Moholy-Nagy: twenty years later, his Russian “colleagues” reproached him for these relations (and those with Man Ray), which were considered too "Western. In 1924 Rodchenko chose photography; four years later he bought the Leica with which he would shoot from now on. Bold photographs, unconventional angles, emphasizing simple graphic elements, lines, circles, curves. In 1927 he had his first photography exhibition, which was followed by many others at home and abroad. But disliked by the authorities for his too Western style, in 1933 he was ordered to portray only state events. With his partner Stepanova he worked until 1940, when he abandoned photography and returned to painting. He died in 1956, aged 65.

Full € 9, Reduced € 8 for groups (min 15 - max 25 pax), convention holders, non-accredited journalists, young people > 26 years, ICOM members, Law Enforcement, teachers, Special Reduced € 3 for schoolchildren of all grades and under 18. Free for accompanying teachers, disabled people + accompanying person, accredited journalists, licensed tour guides, children under 6, employees of the Regional Department of Cultural Heritage.

For all information you can call +39 091 7657621 or visit www.mostrarodchenko.it

A major exhibition in Palermo showcases the shots of Alexander Rodchenko
A major exhibition in Palermo showcases the shots of Alexander Rodchenko

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