Tina Modotti's life, photography and activism on display in Jesi

Palazzo Bisaccioni in Jesi is hosting the exhibition Tina Modotti Photographer and Revolutionary from April 13 to September 1, 2019.

In the Renaissance venue of Palazzo Bisaccioni in Jesi, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Jesi will offer the exhibition Tina Modotti photographer and revolutionary from April 13 to September 1, 2019. The exhibition aims to celebrate one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century by recounting her biographical and artistic story.

It will thus come, through sixty photographs from the Galerie Bilderwel in Berlin, to discover the great skill as a photographer and the passions that conditioned her existence in a determined way: the places, images, friends, and lovers who were part of Tina’s fascinating universe. Of Friulian descent, at a very young age she 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.

The exhibition is divided into six sections. The first will be devoted to her origins and family history: born in Udine in 1896, due to difficult living conditions, when she was only seventeen she boarded a steamship to California, where her father and sister were waiting for her in San Francisco. There she met and fell in love with the Canadian painter Roubaix de l’Abrie Richey and moved with him to Los Angeles.
This is followed by a section devoted to her brief Hollywood career as a silent film actress: she participated in 1920 in The Tiger’s Coat, directed by Roy Clements.
With the third section, the most significant part of the exhibition opens, the section devoted to photography, which Tina discovered thanks to the American photographer Edward Weston. Tina Modotti’s photographic personality was dense with humanity, and examples of this are on display Tank No. 1 or Calle.
The exhibition continues with Mexico, where Tina found refuge, love and inspiration: here she focused on portraits and the human subject, depicting them from a novel point of view to highlight their emotional dimension. Her activity as a photographer goes hand in hand with her political, human and social commitment, and her shots are published by the most important newspapers of the time, such as Il Machete, the official organ of the Mexican Communist Party, whose founders are the painters Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Clemente Orozco, who become her close friends.
The fifth section focuses on the passions of his life: photographs of his friends, artists, and intellectuals, including Frida Kahlo, Julio Antonio Mella, and Vittorio Vidali. Political tension in Mexico is sky-high due to the international clash between Stalinists and Trotskyists, and Tina herself is accused of participating first in the murder of Julio Antonio Mella, a Cuban revolutionary with whom she had a brief and intense love affair, and then in the assassination attempt on Mexican President Pascual Ortiz Rubio. It is the late 1930s and, after twelve days in prison, she is expelled from the country for refusing to repudiate communism. Thus began her missions in a Europe on the threshold of World War II together with Vittorio Vidali, a leading figure in the Communist Party.
The exhibition closes with Tina’s involvement in politics, which leads her to abandon photography for activism, for a totalizing commitment that propels her to Russia, France, Spain, and then back to Mexico, until her mysterious death in January 1942 in Mexico City inside a cab.

Completing the exhibition is an integral screening of The Tiger’s Coat, a feature film in which Tina was featured.

The exhibition is curated by Reinhard Schultz and conceived by Francesca Macera.

For info: www.fondazionecrj.it

Hours: Monday through Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Free admission.

Tina Modotti's life, photography and activism on display in Jesi
Tina Modotti's life, photography and activism on display in Jesi

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