SS340

EXHIBITION BY FABIO TASCA
23 June – 7 July 2017

2013 – 2014

 

The Project
This series of 12 is part of a project investigating an old main road, the “Strada Regina” (literally “Queen Road”), which leads along the west coast of Lake Como, Italy. It was historically part of a long stretch of road, which, since the Roman age, had brought forth a commercial link through which the Lombard tradesmen maintained business relations with the merchants beyond the Alps. Today, the “Via Regina SS340” (State Road No. 340) is a traffic jammed coastal road, which, starting from the city of Como, hits Ponte del Passo (Municipality of Gera Lario), the most northern point of the lake, for a length of about 60 km, following some stretches of the old commercial road and sometimes running parallel to it.

Statement
The study of the peri-urban territory is an essential part of my photographic research. Attention is focused on aspects which are mainly lateral, marginal, and minimal, of a landscape that has been so “often seen” that it has become, by this very fact, elusive.

The photographic method used – which favours the square form – helps me to (con)strain and (con)fine the vision, facilitating an attempt to decipher a landscape which is made up of disordered structural textures and a mixture of natural elements and human imprints.

 

A MARGINAL PATH

[…]

The movement of the lakeside region, that of sedimentation, is the poetry of Fabio Tasca. In his documentation of the SS340/SS340dir route, masses are pushed together, one against the next, buildings are stratified, creating a growing tension which eclipses the rarely seen lake.

Tasca shows us a movement towards a place, a perennial departure where there is a constant confrontation with a truth that presents itself as compact and peremptory, both as an obstacle and an opportunity for knowledge. From this perspective, we have in front of our eyes forms shaped to look like barriers, narrow perspectives given by deep diagonals, bare textures of grey cement, buildings with small windows. Presences unaware of their own minimalism, in our everyday lives showing themselves more as sculptures than places.

By depicting the tensions between masses, Tasca, aside from referring to the movement of accumulation, also affirms a resistance between two dimensions: on one side sedimentation, on the other the impulse to go beyond one’s own destination and the need to cast one’s nets elsewhere.

Visual planning and research occurred during a period of reflection. The oldest and newest objects along the historic route have offered to the photographer an unexpected challenge and given back fresh suggestions of great coherence, while still demanding the necessity of decision. We are talking about rethinking the landscape or projecting a utopia that is always belayed by the results.

Photography is a partial reinstatement of reality and, within the limits of the part that it is able to reproduce, has always been a tool of investigation and knowledge: it acknowledges the complexity of the region, both architectural and most of all anthropological.

Since its beginnings, from the middle of the 1800s until now, photographers have always and faithfully documented those changes from which there is noreturn: from Eugène Atget to Walker Evans, from the New Topographics (Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams and others) to Luigi Ghirri.

Fabio Tasca, prior to taking up any specific stance, always follows a critical trajectory. He is witnesses to the constant changes, to the urgent and necessary dialectic between our environment and us. He is aware that in the relationship between the region and us, even as it becomes constantly more touched by the hands of man, the terms of our identity are still well defined, that our future is preserved, and that we take stock of how we plan it.

Gian Franco Ragno
(Photography historian and publicist)

 

FABIO TASCA

Born in Milan, Italy, in 1965. He received a degree in Slavic philology. He works as a photographer and translator in Como. During the early 90s, he began to work as a photographer for a few national newspapers. This was the beginning of a personal journey, which brought him to discover architectural and landscape photography.

MARKUSHENTTONEN.COM

 

 

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Western Dioramas

EXHIBITION BY WILLIAM RUGEN
16 – 30 June 2017

2008 — ongoing

The project is a continuing snapshot of the American West and the space it takes up in my consciousness. The seemingly limitless physical space makes us view it as transformable, disposable and unforgettable. This leads to many interesting overlaps, both spatial and temporal. There is often a visible intersection of the past and present and a wary line where the open meets the inhabited.

I am also interested in how elements inhabit the space within the frame. Every object has its own place and looks as if it has been placed there for just this picture, like a diorama in a museum. Each image like a momentary still life of the continuing history of the American West.

 

WILLIAM RUGEN

William Rugen spent 20 years as a fisheries oceanographer before turning to photography in 2008, when he hit the road with three cameras, one month of free time, and absolutely no concrete plans. This became the beginning of his first fine art project, Western Dioramas, a continuing survey of the American West. He’s now pursuing similar open-ended projects, each driven by subject matter and unified by the use of color and strong graphic elements. William lives in Seattle, USA.

WILLIAMRUGEN.COM

 

 

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Project Cleansweep

EXHIBITION BY DARA MCGRATH
8 – 22 June 2017

2012 – 2015

Taking its name from a Ministry of Defence report issued in 2011, that assessed the risk of residual contamination at sites in the United Kingdom used in the manufacture, storage, and disposal of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) from World War I to the present day.

Looking beyond the risk assessment to the ways that landscapes are psychologically charged by their history. Examining the sites of the official investigation and many more including sites used for both CBW activities during the Cold War. Following traces that lead, predictably, to military bases and government facilities and, more surprisingly, to grocery stores and holiday parks. The images take us into the country lanes of Dorset and Devon, the Peak District, the woodlands of Yorkshire and out across the open rolling countryside of the Salisbury Plain, Wales, the remote Scottish Highlands and the Irish Sea. When over 4,000 sq km of the landmass was appropriated for military use in the 20th century.

Marking the influence of military activities upon British landscapes and provoking deeper consideration of their lasting social and environmental impacts. Locating unexpected vistas that challenge conventional understandings of place.

They also remind us that war is domestic, one that employs thousands of people in production processes that are surely akin to activities in other industries.
The places pictured here become interstitial; they seem to exist between past and present, public and private, civilian and military. Here, too, the pastoral myths of the bucolic British landscape — of simple nature, a golden past — are disrupted by material realities embedded in the landscape itself.

 

DARA MCGRATH

McGrath is a photographic artist based in Cork City, Ireland. His photo works look at transitional spaces, in-between places where architecture, landscape and the built environment intersect, where a dialogue – of absence rather than presence – is created.

Recent exhibitions include Espace Lhomond Paris Photo, New Irish Works, PhotoHof Salzburg, Gallery of Photography Dublin, Photo Biennale Thessalonika, Centre Des Beaux Arts Brussels, Voies-Off Arles, Venice Biennale of Architecture, Archisle, Carlisle Photo, Landeskrone Photo, Kaunas Photo Days, Singapore Photo Festival, Photo Week DC, Yokohama City Museum, Glucksman Gallery and the Copenhagen Photo Festival.

McGrath is the winner of the AIB Arts Prize, the European Now Award, a Solas Award and has recently been nominated for the Prize Pictet 2016. He is also the winner of the inaugural RAC Photography Award 2017 (selected by Martin Parr).

DARAMCGRATH.COM

 

 

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Modern Ruins

EXHIBITION BY MARKUS LEHR
1 – 15 June 2017

2014

Across Western cities, there is an increasing obsession with producing manicured landscapes. Standing in contrast to these aesthetically and socially regulated spaces are the neglected sites of industrial ruins, places on the margin which accommodate transgressive and playful activities. Providing a different aesthetic to the over-coded, over-designed spaces of the city, ruins evoke an aesthetics of disorder, surprise and sensuality, offering ghostly glimpses into the past and a tactile encounter with space and materiality… It is precisely their fragmentary nature and lack of fixed meaning that render ruins deeply meaningful. They blur boundaries between rural and urban, past and present and are intimately tied to memory, desire and a sense of place.

Edensor, Tim, Industrial Ruins – Space, Aesthetics and Materiality, 2005.

 

MARKUS LEHR

Markus Lehr studied communication at the University of Arts in Berlin and has been working in the field of marketing and new media ever since. Several notable publications have featured his work and he published his first photography book in December 2013. Markus has also showcased his work at solo and group exhibitions in Berlin, Munich, Paris and Wolverhampton.

MARKUSLEHR.COM

 

 

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An Empty Valley

EXHIBITION BY ETTORE MONI
23 May – 7 June 2017

2015

Not far from the iconic city of Carrara, in the heart of the Apuan Alps, and uncommonly for Italian expectations in this field, the history of this valley and its force break down any stereotypes about the world of marble, about quarriers and those who live there. This history merges images and imagination and results in sometimes bitter yet never banal narration, which provides an alternative, new, discouraging point of view. The rays of sunshine barely reach out to here, let alone the first pages of magazines and the flashes of photographers. Here, all voids are filled. Filled with stories about courage – that of an abandoned valley and of those who still live here, among all its wounds, contradictions and natural limits. On one side this tough nature hardly allows space for man-made constructions, yet on the other side it lets quarriers reach its very heart with their apparently unnatural lengthwise cuts, which in fact follow the geological patterns of marble layers. The antagonist here, if there is one, is history, which is always such a severe teacher: think of the industrial revolution, whose – mainly negative – effects have deeply affected the valley, and think of the massacre of about a hundred people. This is why it is of little importance that this place is barely reached by the rays of sunshine, because here I could actually arrive. And I came back. After all, here one could well imagine to be able to look at the sea from the ‘Dolomites’ or to walk on the austere lunar soil. One may also find a shepherd writing poetry, or a quarrier with a university degree; and even meet a hunter who prefers using his legs for trekking to using his rifle for killing, or a sculptor considering his solitude an opportunity.

 

ETTORE MONI

Ettore Moni is a Parma (Italy) based photographer, documents contemporary visions of urban landscape and personal project with a large-format camera (4×5).

ETTOREMONI.COM

 

 

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Marfa

EXHIBITION BY GAËTAN ROSSIER
16 – 31 May 2017

2013
Marfa, TX, USA

You will not come to Marfa by chance

All roads lead to Marfa, starting with the interminable highway that winds through the Chihuahua desert and rallying El Paso to this small lunar city of west Texas at the gates of Mexico. Declining since the closure of its military camp at the end of the Second World War, the rise of drug trafficking in the region and the drying up of the Rio Grande, Marfa, with its 2,000 residents, should never have become a hype destination. Yet for years now we are witnessing the same parade of aficionados pacing the dusty streets of this tiny city, a mirage in the torpor of the cactus fields. So, I went in Marfa in 2013. I took pictures and i loved it.

 

GAËTAN ROSSIER

Gaëtan Rossier (born 1975) is a Swiss photographer. He studied law at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and works as a lawyer in the administration (labor law).

Gaëtan Rossier is known for his images of banal scenes and objects in different countries (United States, France, Spain, Switzerland, etc…) and for his use of color in photography. Gaëtan Rossier was interested in photography from an early age. Self-taught, he received an Kodak Instamtic at age six. He began to use a 35mm camera ten years later and made his first color photographs. Gaëtan Rossier photography is rooted in the tradition of William Eggleston, Alec Soth and Stephen Shore. Gaëtan, an avid traveler, spent five years working his way down the American North West and documenting the places and people he saw with film cameras and various gears. Rossier’s photography has been exhibited on a collective exhibition in Lyon (France), “Kiss & Fly”. He has also been published in various collective projects.

GAETANROSSIER.CH

 

 

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To Be On View

EXHIBITION BY MARKUS HENTTONEN
8 – 22 May 2017

2003 – 2015

My photographic work is about people and environment and the relationship between them. And beach is a place that I have always found fascinating. It is a special environment where you immediately combine thoughts of summer, vacation and joy, sea and sand. It is also a place where people gather, with their colorful towels and umbrellas, strangers closely side by side, to enjoy the temporary freedom and holiday.

What makes this place especially interesting are the specific social codes of wardrobe and behavior in the beach. The boundaries of personal space are more flexible in a crowded holiday beach then many other places. It is also a place where social status and professional positions are insignificant. Everyone is equal in this specific holiday environment. And everyone comes to the beach for the same reason, to relax and enjoy. It feels like a place where is still left some communal feeling, a togetherness that is rare at this time where everyone lives in their small worlds, disconnected from those of others.

From early on I have chosen to photograph the images from above, giving an overview of the beach in one particular moment. I have waited for the right moment, things to happen and people to move in certain ways. This series is based on the very basics, the decisive moment of photography.

The picturesque images are captured at a distance where you can still see details, expressions and gestures. The whole beach in one certain captured moment. All the small details, rich colors and rhythm of people create a painting like image, where you can almost hear the laughter, sense the happiness, acceptance and love, smell the sunscreen and fresh winds from the sea just by looking. It is almost like a photographic continuum to the impressionist paintings.

But not only a visual perspectives, or a personal experience and sense of place, this series brings attention to the precious nature paradise that we still have. The environmental issues are more and more on table, as the seas get filled with waste. Are we willing and able to protect this treasure that we have so that the magic of beach and sea is still there for the future generations?

This project started already in 2003 when I was living in Barcelona. I photographed the on the coastal area of Costa Brava, later also Mallorca, Menorca, Tenerife in Spain and Salvador de Bahia in Brazil until 2007. I rediscovered this topic and found new inspiration and returned to the work in 2015. I have new ideas and will continue working on this theme again this summer.

 

MARKUS HENTTONEN

The photography of Markus Henttonen is storytelling, cinematic and poetic. His timeless and beautiful images of landscape and people have a special atmosphere and lingering moods. Markus has a prominent style that is at the same time sensual and honest with a tiny hint of melancholy underneath.

Barcelona is the city where Markus´ artistic career really started. After graduating from Turku Arts Academy in Finland he moved to the city and finished his first personal art project «Paral-lel City», which was published as a book and exhibition in 2004.

Since then he has shared his time between art and commercial photography working with numerous editorial and commercial clients and having his works shown in over 100 solo- and group exhibitions throughout Europe.

Markus has released 3 monographs, most recent «Twisted Tales – Road to Hope» worldwide via Hatje Cantz. Lately his works have been exhibited in major International group shows alongside renowned artists such as David LaChapelle, Pierre & Gilles, Mitch Epstein and Robert Polidori.

Markus currently lives and works between Berlin, Barcelona and his native country Finland.

MARKUSHENTTONEN.COM

 

 

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As It Is

EXHIBITION BY GUILLAUME ABGRALL
1 – 15 May 2017

2016

Fragments of space, light, shapes in ordinary places. Pictures about what I feel when I stand, here and there, seeking awakening and peace.

I’m a silent guy. Sometimes, I take pictures, and I hope these pictures will speak for me. I hope they will tell something about the world, about how I see it, and, finally, about myself. I like modest pictures, modest subjects. I’m not documenting anything but my own perception of my surrounding.

 

GUILLAUME ABGRALL

Guillaume Abgrall is a frenchman born in 1972. He lives in a little rural town near Amiens, in the North of France. He’s a teacher and an amateur photographer, who likes to take pictures both in analog and digital.

GUILLAUMEABGRALL.COM

 

 

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Paradise Inn

EXHIBITION BY MARINOS TSAGKARAKIS
23 April – 7 May 2017

2012 – 2016

The word “paradise” literally means walled enclosure or recreational and entertainment area, probably derived from the Persian word “Pardes” which is attributed to the walled pleasure gardens of the Great King of Persia.

In recent decades, countless of artificial “paradises” were developed around the world and their number still grows faster than ever before. This industry that manufactures an entertainment product of mass consumption meant to satisfy the average man’s need for recreational time and fun, is called tourism.

The tourism industry has drastically intruded the land, transforming it into a product while causing several effects with a severe socio-cultural character. Destinations are in danger of losing their original appearance, structure and identity, through a standardization process that aims to satisfy the tourists’ wishes. What is not understood though, is that this process doesn’t degrade only the final product but mostly affects the local societies which have to survive the low periods relying only on the remnants of a seasonal industry.

Paradise Inn aims to highlight the consequences of this massive and uncontrolled tourist development. In Greece, as in Southern Europe in general, these effects are reflected on the constructed landscape mostly through the unregulated and shoddy architecture, the kitsch and folklore decoration, the construction and adoption of artificial elements and entertainment structures, the falsification of identity and cultural heritage, the violation of the natural environment and finally the desolation that occurs after peak season.

As Marcel Proust said, the “only true paradise is the paradise we have lost”. Paradise Inn is a tribute to all the lost paradises, in which millions of ordinary people manage to impose their own selves, the desperate experience that anyone could eventually face: the impairment of our quality of life and aesthetics and the loss of use of the natural space.

 

MARINOS TSAGKARAKIS

Marinos Tsagkarakis was born (1984) and raised in the island of Crete, in Southern Greece. He studied contemporary photography at STEREOSIS Photography School, in Thessaloniki, Greece. He is a member of the collective “Depression Era” that inhabits the urban and social landscapes of the economic crisis in his home country.

His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and international festivals, including Mois De La Photo in Paris, European Month of Photography in Budapest, Athens Photo Festival, Medphoto Festival, Biennale of Contemporary Art of Thessaloniki, Athens Biennale, FOCUS Photography Festival in Mumbai and Fotoistanbul. Moreover, he has exhibited his photographs in important art spaces such as Benaki Museum (Athens), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), Museo de Bogotá (Colombia) and several galleries in Canada, USA and Europe.

MARINOSTSAGKARAKIS.COM

 

 

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Brasilia

EXHIBITION BY CYRILLE WEINER
16 – 30 April 2017

2008

Arriving in Brasilia is a strange feeling: an illusionary city that would reveal itself very slowly. From afar, the landscape is flat. Then, above the emptiness, a vibrant shape appears in the bright sun, like a giant model growing up from the ground. The vision speeding faster as the city progressively appears. Unbelievable.

Brasilia is the capital of a vast country. But it is not a city. It is the drawing of a city, a cross in the middle of the desert. An act of possessing a territory, perfectly and globaly achieved from scratch by architect Oscar Niemeyer and urbanist Lucio Costa, under the impulse of president Juscelino Kubitschek.

I came to see a city. I discovered an infinite garden. A wasteland. A suspended space that stretches out of human dimension.

I walked for hours. Off the map and its limits in an urban space that has not yet been conceived for a walker. I met a few men, as my own reflection in a mirror. They walked to the rodoviaria – the main bus station – at the crossing of the two wings of the Plano Piloto.

The public space in Brasilia is the whole territory. Cities’ grounds are covered with ashalt. In Brasilia, despite the sophisticated urban shaping, the red earth does not disappear.

Time is suspended. Life seems to have stopped the shining day of April 21st, 1960: the inauguration day of its new capital, built ex nihilo.

Strange scenes of parades of workers, soldiers and officials, between scattered brand new futuristic buidings, like an oversized movie set. A utopia that became real in a thousand days. Perpetual comeback, perpetual availability for the future.

I came to Brasilia with the feeling of coming back. I left it asking myself if Brasilia exists. It seems to. Not as a myth or a symbol of the modernist utopia, but an available open playground for all the improvisations of all of us.

Emptiness is the real monumentality of Brasilia.

 

CYRILLE WEINER

Photographer born in 1976 and trained at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière. His work has been published by numerous international magazines (M Le Monde, Foam, British Journal of Photography, foam, Art Press…) and exhibited at MAC Lyon, at the Rencontres d’Arles, the laurent mueller gallery in Paris and at the Villa Noailles in Hyères. He was the laureate of the Prix Lucien Hervé and Rudolf Hervé in 2012 and the author of Presque Île (2009) and of Twice (2015). Cyrille Weiner recurrently poses the question of space, and how individuals appropriate themselves to their living spaces, distanced from directives coming from «on high». Progressively leaving the documentary register, he proposes a universe crossed by fiction, that he establishes with exhibitions, editorial projects and installations.

CYRILLEWEINER.COM

 

 

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