Across the Atlantic Ocean but in reverse… Beyond the words of essayist Paul Gilroy and artist Johny Pitts, the Black Lives Matter movement shouts <STOP Police Violence… STOP Racism>. In Milan as in Minneapolis. Black and white frames that leave the beauty of the melting pot in my mind… Time ago Italian the band Almamegretta sang “Athena was black”… Today it’s right to remember our common history so as not to make mistakes again. (All shots taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5 + Zuiko 17mm f21.8 + Zuiko 75mm f1.8)
Memories and faces cut the darkness of the darkest Past. Men and women whisper the sad chronicle of a bombing. Milanese civil society once again remembers the citizens who were slaughtered by extreme-right violence. In Piazza Fontana people loudly condemn fascism. The public speakers speak. The flags flap. Eyes fire up. Another December 12 adds new memories to the heart of the city.
Matteo Ceschi and Jim Marshall‘s Rise and Fall multimedia art exhibition (with high-patronage of the Italian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina) at Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Zmaja od Bosne 5, Sarajevo)
OPENING EVENT: TUESDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2019, 7PM
Walls are absolutely central to the history, experience, interaction, culture and condition of humans. From ancient paintings on the walls of caves, to the Great Wall of China, to the Walls of Jericho, the Wailing Wall, and the Walls of Babylon, to the modern perspectives of the Berlin Wall, right-wing dreams of border walls, and contemporary graffiti, not least in the context of the internationally recognised works of Banksy and Blu, et al.
While walls can divide and exclude, they can also function as shared, inclusive, even sacred spaces. They can communicate cultural, historical and political events and experiences through fading signs, plaques, shrapnel marks, other more subtle features, and of course street art.
Urban environments, such as Milan and Sarajevo, speak through their walls, telling stories of often tumultuous change.
Jim Marshall and Matteo Ceschi’s photo project presents a dialogue between two different contexts and artists, reflecting the humour, the horror, the light and the darkness of the stories told by the walls of our cities. Stories of events and of empires, and indeed of walls as they rise and fall.
The end of August 2018. Five days in the Sienese countryside with my old Fuji X100. Colle Val d’Elsa was my headquarters. Day after day I visited Casole d’Elsa, Monteriggioni, Montalcino, Mensano, Sovicille, Rosia, Sant’Antimo and San Galgano… ENJOY my b&w tour!
I think sometimes pics have an educational role: looking that people working to recover the stories of those people who lived almost 2000 years ago, you can reach a more balanced vision of death. The skull emerges again with stories of life. [Shot taken with Olympus OM-D E-M5 + Zuiko 30mm f3.5 MACRO]
Let your pictures tell a story. During the years as photographer/journalist/essayist and curator I’ve always looked for a personal narrative that could help me put a story together in a thoughtful way. Very soon I’ve felt bored by the dangerous & sticky idea of “beautiful images.” The ability of storytelling – a deep love for History and the need for different languages – is now the main difference between a “catcher of beautiful images” (closer to a lone collector) and a photographer who is a visual artist.
Please contact me – this is my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – if you feel the wish and the urgency to let your pictures talk! I can help you arrange your stories in a professional way.
– text/narrative editor
– historical/visual professional advice
– backstage set photographer
– press office
Now in bookstores my new book, Un’altra musica. L’America nelle canzoni di protesta (Mimesis Edizioni 2018), an ideal spin-off of my Unseen Sixties photo collection exhibition at Expowall Gallery. The shot used for the cover is one of the pictures of the exhibition. If you like the cover shot and you want to buy a fine art print by Mario Govino, please contact my gallery. ENJOY!
Photography is documenting a moment.
Whatever the situation or the subject to be recorded, the photographer carries out his task/assignment through his instrument.
Usually we forget this specific aspect, stressing the aesthetic value of the shot excessively, to the detriment of its historical value.
Humans need to record their activities and photography has proved to be the most agile and comfortable means, especially with the advent of digital technology.
The setting up of an art exhibition or fair, the backstage of a fashion catwalk or a studio recording session can now be shared in a flash. Today the world moves on with the speed of social networks; let’s not forget it!
In particular, everything that cannot be seen, the backstage of events in fact, is a source of continuous curiosity for the public connected to the web.
Responding to this wish to “know more”, to see what goes on behind the scenes, companies and individuals rely on backstage set photographers: in this way they share the backstage of their own production process.
In the past, enlightened managers like Adriano Olivetti entrusted the telling of their industrial narrative to the universal evocative power of photography. Wherever you looked at them, those photos spoke and contributed to the fortune of those who had commissioned them.
Today as then, showing yourself for who you are is a winning card.
UNSEEN SIXTIES: UNPUBLISHED IMAGES FROM “SIXTY-EIGHT” IN THE U.S.A.
ExpoWall Gallery, via Curtatone 4, Milano
Openig: November 8, 2017, 6 PM
I began collecting old 35 mm film negatives seriously when I was writing Tutti i colori di Obama. L’altra storia delle elezioni americane (Franco Angeli 2012).
Tutti i colori di Obama‘s main academic goal was to rediscover those political figures who, running for the U.S. Presidency, anticipated the appearance of Barack Obama in the national political arena: comedian and activist Dick Gregory, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and reverend Jesse Jackson.
Looking for more data and details to complete my volume, I began to rely on iconographic sources, in particular pictures from national and local newspapers and magazines. These shots revealed new perspectives on the political lives of the people I was writing about. A friend’s advice then led me to explore the possibility of buying old negatives on-line: in this way, my historical report was further enriched with new stories and new characters. My background as a historian and my photographer’s eye helped me in the choice of negatives (they were often badly catalogued by the sellers: no subject; uncertain dates…).
Since then, I have specifically bought negatives from the Sixties era, in particular frames dedicated to the main events and characters of Sixty-Eight. I understand “Sixty-Eight” not in a strictly chronological sense, but in its broadest historical perspective, as that period, from 1964 to 1970 circa, during which people all around the world attempted to “revolutionize” society.
My collection – more than a hundred frames – comes mostly from newspaper archives of the Midwest, Chicago in particular. During the Sixties the Windy City was the epicenter of the national political scene and its Mayor, boss Richard Daley, was the most influential politician in the Democratic Party.
In August 1968, Chicago hosted the Democratic Convention – Hubert Humphrey was elected to run versus Republican Richard Nixon. During the Convention, people poured into the streets and in the parks of Chicago to protest against major political choices of the Democratic Party: a series of peaceful rallies, sit-ins, free concerts and free-performing events organized by New-Left, Anti-War and countercultural groups was strongly repressed by local police and the National Guard. Radical activists like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, New-Left leader Tom Hayden, pacifist David Dellinger, poet Allen Ginsberg, co-founder of the Black Panther Party Bobby Seale, Dick Gregory, folk singer Phil Ochs and the MC5 rock band were some of the leaders of the protest during those days, a tragic moment for U.S. Democracy.
These unseen shots – frames which were not selected for publication by newspaper editors – can help us enrich the photo album of the United States’ “Sixty-Eight” with unseen and unpublished details.
Along with well-known faces – U.S Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; West Coast psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane; counterculture leaders Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin; African-American Boston Celtics basketball star Bill Russell; heavyweight champion Joe Frazier; young reverend Jesse Jackson – there are unknown individuals who kept the “wind of change” blowing.
For the 50th anniversary celebration of “Sixty-Eight”, ExpoWall Gallery presents a rich selection of my 35mm private collection. Pamela Campaner, Alberto Meomartini and Denis Curti’s help was very precious in the choice of the frames. Mario Govino‘s print art was equally important for the project.
Unseen Sixties is the result both of missed meetings – the photo reporter shots not selected by American newspaper and magazine editors in the 1960s – and successful meetings, those animating today my city, Milan, and the documentary photography world the city inevitably refers to, to celebrate “the year that rocked the world”, as author Mark Kurlansky wrote in 2004.
Welcome then, to this never seen cutout of history. The Unseen Sixties are waiting for you to discover them.