A retrospective in Palermo dedicated to Miron Zownir, poet of radical photography

The Palermo International Center of Photography presents a retrospective exhibition dedicated to Miron Zownir from May 21 to July 31, 2021.

The “Poet of Radical Photography” is on display for the first time in Palermo: from May 21 to July 31, 2021, the International Center of Photography is hosting the retrospective Zeitwirdknapp / There is no more time - Retrospektive 1977 - 2019. Photographs by Miron Zownir, curated by Gaetano La Rosa.

Calling Zownir the"Poet of Radical Photography" was U.S. writer Terry Southern: he is indeed among the most radical contemporary photographers of the last forty years, but also a filmmaker and writer. His photos in West Berlin, London, New York and the post-communist cities of Eastern Europe have made him world famous.

The exhibition will feature more than seventy medium- and large-format shots taken between 1977 and 2019, accompanied by videos from some of his films. From the early shots of the 1970s, in the explosion of the punk phenomenon of West Berlin and London, to photographs from the American period of the 1980s depicting the protest of offbeat artists and performers and the dark world of prostitution and drug addiction; to Russia, in which the artist denounces the social and moral decline of the former Soviet Union, taking images of the homeless and dying.

Writes the curator, "We might see Miron Zownir’s photos, and the eye often induces us to do so, as an overview of a socially desperate, depressed, aching and sick community. But we can and should instead look at each individual shot as the monad of an instantaneous dramaturgy, in which the viewer’s eye is led back to the lived experience of the subject, even as well as the photographer who took it. In each of these shots, what always strikes us is the theatricality of gesture, accompanied by the power of grace and the fragility of a residual, outcast, disturbed humanity.

And this is because Miron Zownir is endowed with a very strong talent for theater. And his theater has infiltrated, from the very beginning, his photographic research. Actors in his theater being the men, women, transsexuals, the handicapped, the disabled, the sick, the heroin addicts, the drop-outs, the helpless poor christians, whom he encountered during his urban and suburban explorations, almost always managing to catch them at that moment when they, as in a sacred act of gift, were willing to offer their being body, in a gesture of extreme efficacy and truth, which we could reasonably call a performative act."

The exhibition is supported by the Goethe-Institut Palermo, in collaboration with the Assessorato alle Culture del Comune di Palermo.

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Free admission.

Image: Miron Zownir (Berlin, 2020) Ph.Credit Nico Anfussi

A retrospective in Palermo dedicated to Miron Zownir, poet of radical photography
A retrospective in Palermo dedicated to Miron Zownir, poet of radical photography

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