The Grammar of Images: on display in Venice photographs by contemporary masters

The Venice Foundation is hosting the exhibition 'The Grammar of Images' from January 16 to March 1, 2019.

To celebrate the 180th anniversary of the birth of photography, the Venice Foundation is opening a free exhibition at its headquarters that brings together a number of works from the photographic collection begun by the Foundation itself in 2007 with the acquisition of the archive of Italo Zannier (Spilimbergo, 1932).

The exhibition, titled La Grammatica delle Immagini (The Grammar of Images ) and curated by Denis Curti, artistic director of the Casa dei Tre Oci, scheduled from Jan. 16 to March 1, 2019, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the ground floor of the Fondazione di Venezia headquarters, presents 21 works by Gianni Berengo Gardin, Simona Ghizzoni, Paolo Ventura and Irene Kung, selected from the most contemporary experiences of the Venetian institution’s mighty photographic heritage.

The exhibition invites us to look beyond the photographic object, to reflect on how contemporary images are the result of a construction, a staging, and how their meaning arises from the viewer’s gaze. The exhibition brings into dialogue the four authors and their works, rich in charm and memory, which tell and express atmospheres that, however, do not exist in reality. The journey through the Foundation’s contemporary photography begins with the “most classic” of the authors in the exhibition, Gianni Berengo Gardin, an artist linked to the history of the Casa dei Tre Oci, and then continues with two authors considered among the greatest exponents of modern photography in Italy, namely Simona Ghizzoni and Paolo Ventura, and concludes with the deception of Irene Kung.

Reporter Simona Ghizzoni uses photography as a mirror to look at herself and her own intimacy, as a tool to get to know herself through self-portraits, self-representations that question and wink at the visitor by recalling the modern use of selfies. Paolo Ventura, on the other hand, tells his “Winter Story,” with a series of photographs depicting the scenario of the immediate postwar period. This is only an apparent reality because the artist reconstructs in a miniaturized set the reality of the time and then photographs it. By Irene Kung, on the other hand, the exhibition hosts works depicting some of Rome ’s most striking architecture in black and white, invested with an almost Caravaggesque light. Ostensibly nocturnes, the Italian-Swiss artist’s photos are actually taken in broad daylight and are the result of skillful, almost painterly post-production work.

“More than a decade after the exhibition entitled ’A Fantastic Obsession,’ which announced the important acquisition of Italo Zannier’s archive by the Foundation,” explains Giovanni Dell’Olivo, director of the Venice Foundation, “we wanted to continue and give new life to the project of research and enhancement of an ever-evolving photographic heritage with this exhibition that welcomes significant expressions of contemporary photography. This is the first event with which we will celebrate, in 2019, the 180th anniversary of the invention of photography at our venue. Not only that, we wanted to offer the public a renovated space, located on the ground floor of our headquarters in Rio Novo and from this year ready to host not only lectures and debates, but also exhibitions.”

You can find more information by visiting the Venice Foundation website here.

The Grammar of Images: on display in Venice photographs by contemporary masters
The Grammar of Images: on display in Venice photographs by contemporary masters

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