30 September 2022

In Paris the exhibition 'Reversing the Eye'

Arte Povera and Beyond 1960-75. Photography, Film, Video from 11.10.2022 to 29.01.2023 in two Paris venues and in spring 2023 at Triennale Milano
"The mirror pushes us forward, into the future of images to come, and at the same time it pushes us back whence the 
photographic image came, namely, the past" 
Michelangelo Pistoletto
In two Paris venues, Jeu de Paume and LE BAL, Reversing the Eye looks into the relationship between a segment of Italy's avant-gardes of the 1960s and early 1970s, and the mechanically produced image: photography, film and video. As fruitful as it was truly remarkable in the European context of the time, this relationship is partially explicable in terms of the looming omnipresence of the media in Italian society and the avant-gardes' quest for a critical, not to say political response. 
Ugo Mulas, Verifica 7, Il laboratorio. Una mano sviluppa, l’altra fissa. A Sir John Frederick William Herschel [Verification 7-The Laboratory. One Hand Develops, the Other Fixes. To Sir John Frederick William Herschel], 1970-1972.
From the series Le Verifiche [The Verifications], Gelatin-silver print on aluminum, 42 x 51,4 cm. Centre Pompidou Musée national d’art moderne, Paris. 
Photo Ugo Mulas © Ugo Mulas Heirs. All rights reserved. Photo © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Migeat. 
The aim of the exhibition is not to address all the Italian avant-gardes of the period, but rather to home in on the setting of Arte Povera, this "poor art" as defined by the critic Germano Celant in 1967. A riposte to American Pop Art and contemporaneous with the activity on the international conceptual scene. Arte Povera was, as Celant put it, a search for a “free form of expression committed to contingency, to events, to the present", that would bring art and life together.
And while photography, film and video are only rarely associated with Arte Povera, they were in fact widely used by members of the movement and so can equally be approached as "poor" media. In addition to its focus on the movement's leading lights, the exhibition embraces their fellow artists – photographers in particular – as well as others who showed with them or had been major influences.  
Luigi Ontani
Luigi Ontani, Dante, 1972, Matte color print, 85 x 67 cm, © Rome, Fabio Sargentini, Archivio L’Attico, © Luigi Ontani.
Luigi Ontani,
Luigi Ontani, Pinocchio, 1972, Matte color print, 85 x 67 cm, © Rome, Fabio Sargentini, Archivio L’Attico, © Luigi Ontani. 
Here four thematic sections are spread across the two venues: Body (LE BAL), Experience, Image and Theater (Jeu de Paume). Each of these terms pinpoints a specific questioning of the relationship to time and space (experience), the deconstruction of reality and its representations via images (image), the dimension of theatricality inherent in these media (theater) and the very concept of identity and the role of the author (body)
The exhibition title, Reversing the Eye, is a reference to Giuseppe Penone's work of the same name, Rovesciare i propri occhi (1970), featured in the exhibition. The exhibition will be presented in spring 2023 at Triennale Milano
Reversing the Eye
A sinistra: Emilio Prini, Introduzione alle statue [Introduction to Statues], 1968, Black and white photograph, Genoa, Archives Emilio Prini, © Archivio Emilio Prini, © All Rights reserved. 
A destra: Giuseppe Penone, Rovesciare i propri occhi - progetto, [Reversing One’s Eyes - project], 1970, Photocollage of black and white, selenium-tinted gelatinsilver prints on baryta paper, 40 × 30 cm, © Archivio Penone / Adagp, Paris, 2022. 
Information on the exhibition Reversing the Eye
  • JEU DE PAUME: 1, place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris (France). Opening hours: Tuesday (late-opening) 11 AM - 9 PM, Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM - 7 PM. Closed on Monday. Info: www.jeudepaume.org
  • LE BAL: 6, impasse de la Défense, 75018 Paris (France). Opening hours: Wednesday (late-opening) 12 AM - 8 PM, Thursday to Sunday 12 AM - 7 PM, Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Info: www.le-bal.fr
  • TRIENNALE MILANO: viale Alemagna 6, 20121 Milan (Italy). Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11 AM - 8 PM. Closed on Monday. Info:  www.triennale.org
Edited by Noè Villa
Avion Tourism Magazine
Text source and photo: exhibition Press Office / Jeu de Paume and Le Bal
Paris photo: Copyright © Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock

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