In Trani an exhibition on Tina Modotti with 50 photographs

From Dec. 7, 2019 to Jan. 6, 2020, the Palazzo delle Arti Beltrani in Trani is hosting the exhibition Tina Modotti, Images from the Galerie Bilderwelt

From Dec. 7, 2019 to Jan. 6, 2020, the Palazzo delle Arti Beltrani in Trani is hosting the exhibition Tina Modotti, Images from the Galerie Bilderwelt, which brings together fifty images by Tina Modotti (Udine, 1896 - Mexico City, 1942) arriving from Reinhard Schultz’s Bilderwelt Gallery (Berlin). The exhibition aims to celebrate one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century through an exhibition project conceived by art historian Alessia Venditti (curator of the exhibition), which outlines Modotti’s evolutionary path from her earliest photos to her last, telling her existential and artistic story in images.

In her short and luminous biographical path, studded with travels, passions and separations, Tina Modotti (born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti) expressed much of the cultural and political anxieties of the early 20th century. She is now universally recognized among the leading Italian photographers and photojournalists active during the first half of the short century. A multifaceted woman, photographer and revolutionary of Friulian origin who emigrated to the United States and then moved to Mexico, where she actively participated in the fervent cultural and political life that animated the country in the 1920s. In the world of photography, her name is linked to that of photographer Edward Weston, whose model, muse and lover she was. Begun in Italy, her human and artistic journey took her to Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Francisco, Mexico City, Spain, Russia and then back to her beloved Mexico. Her creative spirit and her nature as a revolutionary activist were the levers that pushed her to move from one country to another. With her charm as a creative and independent woman, she made many men fall in love with her, and of others she became their companion, crossing paths with the likes of Diego Rivera, Frida Khalo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Robert Capa, Ernest Hemingway and Jon Dos Passos.A friend of Pablo Neruda, his are the verses celebrating Tina Modotti’s life, some of which are engraved as an epitaph on her tombstone to stigmatize her indomitable existence “fire does not die.”

The Friulian photographer’s works are exhibited in the world’s most important museums, including the International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography, and the Library of Congress in Washington, the national library of the United States. It was Modotti herself on several occasions who defined what she set out to achieve with her photography, evidence of her desire for modernity, freeing herself from the search for artistic effect at all costs. Her capacity for storytelling through the lens became the key to revealing “without tricks” the fascinating and multifaceted ever-changing reality of a complex historical period such as that of the first half of the 20th century, a period that she herself lived as a protagonist. In 1926 she said, “I wish to photograph what I see, sincerely, directly, without tricks, and I think this may be my contribution to a better world.” In 1929, defining her point of view, Modotti explained, “I consider myself a photographer, nothing more. If my photos differ from what is usually done in this field, it is precisely because I try to produce not art, but honest photographs, without distortion or manipulation. Most photographers still go in search of the ’artistic’ effect, imitating other means of graphic expression. The result is a hybrid product that fails to give their work the most valuable characteristics it should have: photographic quality.”

“The Trani exhibition,” explains Alessia Venditti, “aims to chronologically retrace the artist’s life through a selection of works from the various periods, having as a common thread the common historical and documentary value, and places the exhibition in an ideal dialogical relationship with the nineteenth- and twentieth-century permanent collection of Palazzo Beltrani, also home to the Ivo Scaringi Art Gallery, thus urging the visitor to reflect on the historical-social relationships inherent in each individual artistic achievement.”

The exhibition layout, strongly desired by the Trani City Council’s Department of Cultures, directed by Felice Di Lernia, and realized thanks to the Association of the Arts in collaboration for the texts with Roman art historians Sara Esposito and Francesca Macera, is completed by the projection, visible during the enjoyment of the exhibition, of the 1920 film TheTiger’s Coat(Tiger’s Skin, directed by Roy Clements, USA), the only testimony that has come down to the present day of Tina Modotti’s Hollywood acting interlude.

The exhibition opens daily, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets: full 8 euros, reduced 4 euros, reduced schools 3 euros, family ticket 20 euros. For information visit the Palazzo Beltrani website.

Pictured: Tina Modotti in a scene from the film Tiger’s coat

In Trani an exhibition on Tina Modotti with 50 photographs
In Trani an exhibition on Tina Modotti with 50 photographs

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