CESCHI & MARSHALL’S “RISE AND FALL” IN “OSLOBODENJE” NEWSPAPER

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Jim Marshall and me at the opening of our Rise and Fall  multimedia exhibition at the Historical Museum of BiH – Sarajevo (September 17-24, 2019) – in Oslobodenje BiH national newspaper.

P.S. for the translation Google Translate (Bosnian-English) is adequate.

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MATTEO CESCHI & JIM MARSHALL’S “RISE AND FALL” IN SARAJEVO

Rise and Fall 2019

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.

 

SEE: https://www.unimib.it/unimib-international/winter-and-summer-schools/summer-schools-2019

ONCE AGAIN IN SARAJEVO

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Once again… I’m very proud to participate in the 2019 International Summer School Bicocca, Sarajevo (BH), September 16-22. Hey folks, I’m ready for a new photo exhibition with friend Jim Marshall. Stay tuned for more news! (Poster shot: Sarajevo, late September 2016 – FujiFilm X30)

REINVENTING THE “RESISTENZA” – THE PRESENT LOOKS AT THE PAST

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– FRIDAY, September 21, 2018
VIDEO PRESENTATION
University of Milano-Bicocca, Rectorate – Rodolfi Room, Building U6, IV Floor,
Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo 1, Milano –  9AM 

– SATURDAY, September 22, 2018 
WALKING SEMINAR
University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo 1, Milano – 10AM

 

Today, intolerance and ignorance seem to be common moods in reading the Italian Resistance, La Resistenza, and in general the national history.

A lot of people prefer to forget what the past can teach: that’s a conscious and opportunistic approach that becomes an everyday philosophy for those politicians who look for short-term consensus.

Ignorance, you know, is a powerful weapon in the hands of those people who have spent their lives climbing to get the power. There is no necessary link between leadership and the oblivion of the history: real leaders know very well the lessons of history and the social-economic context where they operate.

In the social media era the legacy of history is all too often considered optional and basically useless: tweet by tweet, the present in progress deletes any genuine knowledge of the past. Gentrification and urban changes/transformation help this corrosive action destroying and deconstructing personal and collective memories. Their landscape, their framework vanishes.

When professors Tatjana Sekulić and Roberto Moscati offered me the opportunity to develop a photographic project on La Resistenza in the Greco-Pirelli/Bicocca area all these considerations became part of and inspired my artistic quête. There were two obstacles that I had to face: first, the almost total lack of signs of those times in the neighborhood (the remaining elements are an old factory chimney and a commemorative plaque dedicated to the partisans killed by the fascists, but today closed inside the Pirelli’s headquarters); the second obstacle was that my background and my imagery are far from the facts I was asked to evoke, for a double generational reason, not only because of my age, which does not include me in any direct collective memory, but also because I am by choice aesthetically and intellectually closer to the Sixties and Seventies’ counterculture.

All this made the task difficult but not impossible.

The impossible access to the relics of the Resistenza era pushed me to look for a way to provoke the revival of the past in the people who would look at my shots. So I decided to approach the issue with my everyday street photography mood, to recreate a credible iconographic-historical scenario.

Straight on the target without compromises: high contrast black and white in camera – don’t forget, the few memories of La Resistenza in Milan are in black and white; well focused clicks; few post-production. In short words, straight photography as I usually do it: no will to tamper with the representation of reality, even if I know a representation is not a mirror reflection.

In my approach to photography I considered I could add a touch of theatrical performance (in the recent past I had a theatrical experience as writer/author): in some frames – recorded with the self-timer technique – I become part of the scene dressed in a total black suit as the ghost of an unknown partisan – in the Resistenza there were no heroes, simply men and women. The Bicocca university buildings, the Pirelli factory, the work sites and the streets were my stages; an abandoned bottle became an improvised weapon, a molotov cocktail.

At the exact moment of every single shot I had in mind keywords/guide words that I wanted to propose again during the video presentation of the project. They were just suggestions, personal mind sketches, I hope they can help the discussion and the debate.

As in other projects, I’ve embraced the photographic lesson of PROVOKE, a Japanese collective active in the late Sixties: “words have lost the material force that once held the reality” and the photographers “capture with their eyes the remaining vestiges of reality that words no longer reach.”

You too will agree that the power of an image is stronger than any word. So my keywords remain only shy “whisperers” to your eyes.

The video presentation of my work will be a preview of the walking seminar scheduled for the final day of the summer school. Seven of the pictures will be printed in large format and will accompany us on a short tour in the Greco-Pirelli/Bicocca neighborhood – the locations I chased in the mid of August for the shots. Professors and students will be invited to give their contributions to the revival of the Resistenza adding to the seven photos writings, thoughts, tags and drawings, etc.

My hope, before leaving you to the vision of the images, is that once you get home you’ll make this experiment yours and improve it.

There are no better eyes than those of others to take pictures, that’s an important lesson; there exists a multitude of eyes to see the world in different ways. That could be the first step to break the walls around the world.

 

2018 BICOCCA INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL

DOWNLOAD THE FULL PROJECT: Reinventing the Resistenza

MILANO-BICOCCA: A SUNNY MORNING

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A series of architectural shots taken with my “old” FUJI X100 during a sunny August morning at Università Milano-Bicocca.

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SJJ 016 – POSTCARDS FROM A PRESENT IN PROGRESS

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I left for Sarajevo with the reports of a couple of friends and Giovanna Volpi’s essay Sarajevo Maybe, 1994 in my pocket. In the bag, I also had a couple of cameras: a FujiFilm X30 and a small Ricoh GX100. The program included a photo exhibition entitled ko.existence. *

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Those few notions I lost once in town. There, other friends – professor Tatjana Sekulić and photographer Jim Marshall, my partner in the ko.existence exhibition organized by the Universities of Milan Bicocca, Sarajevo and East Sarajevo with the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Sarajevo – pinned on my notebook some names of places and sketches from the past.

But I was living the present.

And this Present was full of new inputs: it was almost unable to contain its stories. The Baščaršija, the Ottoman market district; the Faculty of Political Science; a Sunday marathon; the alleys, a covered shelter during the long siege (1992-1995) away from the shots of the snipers; the numerous and silent cemeteries that embrace the city from the hills. Every aspect of Sarajevo told me stories of a present in progress. Everyday life survived the war and committed to stopping the resurgence of nationalisms and waves of fundamentalisms.

In this present in progress citizens of Sarajevo do not seem tired to defend the urgent sense of coexistence.

My task, as a street photographer, was to record all these inputs and send them to you as series of postcards.

 

FREE DOWNLOAD SJJ 016 Postcards from a Present in Progress

 

* The title of the exhibition came from a suggestion of one of the directors of the Summer School: the original co.existence became ko.existence better tailored to the life of Western and Eastern metropolises. “Ko”, in the Bosnian language means “who?”, so the title is a pun implying a challenge to the viewers to rethink their notion of coexistence and avoid the danger of a social knock out.

TWO GREAT “PHOTO” NEWS

Summer School

First: One of the shots from my Signes/Segni 2015 exhibition in Milano, the one on the poster, was chosen by Università Bicocca di Milano and University of Sarajevo to represent the themes of the 2016 International Summer School,
Rethinking the Culture of Tolerance III – Tolerance and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, from the Neighborhoods to the International Community, 19-25 September, 2016.

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: http://summerschoolbicocca.com/docs/2016/sarajevo_2016_call_for_application.pdf

f50

Second: I’m very proud to announce I have become a member of the f/50 International Photography Collective. In the past months I’ve collaborated with John Meehan, founding member of f/50, on a common project on coffee shops in Milano and Liverpool. Our work will be published next June in Street Photography Magazine.