An exhibition promoted by Roma Capitale – Department of Cultural Development, organised by Azienda Speciale Palaexpo, conceived by the Triennale di Milano and the Milano-Cinisello Balsamo Museum of Contemporary Photography, in collaboration with Azienda Speciale Palaexpo.
The exhibition presents a collection of more than 200 photographs and books sourced from the Donata Pizzi Collection, founded with the purpose of promoting the discovery and understanding of the most outstanding and original Italian female practitioners, spanning from the mid-sixties to our present day. The collection – unique in its field – is comprised photographic works produced by more than 70 photographers from a wide range of approaches and backgrounds. From the pioneering works of Paola Agosti, Letizia Battaglia, Lisetta Carmi, Elisabetta Catalano, Carla Cerati, Paola Mattioli, Marialba Russo, to the recent experimentations showcased between the 90’s and the present day by Marina Ballo Charmet, Silvia Camporesi, Monica Carocci, Gea Casolaro, Paola Di Bello, Luisa Lambri, Raffaella Mariniello, Marzia Migliora, Moira Ricci, Alessandra Spranzi and many more.
The Donata Pizzi collection was exhibited for the first time at the Triennale di Milano from the 5th of October 2016 to the 8th of January 2017, as an event conceived by the Triennale and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. The exhibition now find its home at the Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, enriched by the addition of a selection of new acquisitions.
The heavy influx of female photographers, photojournalists and artists within the Italian cultural circuit can be traces to the 1970’s: during this timeframe access for women to the art and photojournalism world – fields that up to that point had been almost exclusively dominated by men – is favoured by swift socio-political changes and new issues brought to the forefront by the feminist movement. Thanks in part to the achievements of that generation, today female photographers and artists have acquired positions at the forefront of the Italian and International scene: their work is shown in museums, galleries, festivals, magazines and field-specific publications, both inside and outside the Italian national borders. Despite this firm change of course, the disparity in gender is still present and the story and practice of numerous female photographers still needs to be discovered and championed. The awareness of this deficiency within Italian photographic culture, the evident disregard by public institutions, collectors and critics, has pushed Donata Pizzi to start her collection. The works that compose the collection bear witness to the significant moments that have occurred in the last 50 years within the history of Italian photography; bringing to the forefront the conceptual, aesthetic and technological developments that have shaped this timeframe. The central role of the body and its transformations, the need to give a voice to personal experiences of day to day and family life, the relationship between private and collective memory, are all building blocks in the exhibition that link seemingly distant images in genre and timeframe, bridging documentary images and those constructed through an experimental approach. The exhibition is structured in four sections, each dedicated a theme or subject matter: reportage photography (Inside the stories); the relationship between the photographic image and feminist thought (What do you think of feminism?); topics relating to identity and the representation of personal affective relationships (Identity and Relation), and lastly, contemporary research based practices dealing with the exploration of the photographic medium’s potential (Looking beyond).
Presented in the exhibition is also PARLANDO CON VOI, a documentary featuring interviews with many of the artists showcased, sourced by the homonymous book by Giovanna Chiti and Lucia Covi (Danilo Montanari Editore), and produced thanks to Giovanni Gastel by the Associazione Fotografi Professionisti and Metamorphosi Editrice.