Photography exhibition opens at the Vatican Museums for summer

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Nine photographers interpret the Vatican Museums, edited by Micol Forti (responsible for the galleries of Vatican Museum) and Alessandra Mauro, conceived by the Vatican Museums at the Palazzo Reale in Milan from today, May 24, to July 1, 2018. These nine prominent voices of international photography decipher the precious, classical, and contemporary uniqueness of the exhibition which is part of the rich program of Milan PhotoWeek 2018.

Promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan-Cultura, Palazzo Reale, and Musei Vaticani, in collaboration with Contrasto Photo Agency, the exhibition stems from the project of setting up the first photographic collection within the Contemporary Art Collection of the Vatican Museums.

To achieve the ambitious goal of creating a new collection, organizers chose to give life to an opportunity for reflection and experimentation – to transform a historical, social, multicultural, “ritual,” or fully symbolic place, like the Vatican Museums, in the subject-object of the creative work of a group of international photographers, different from perspectives of research, education, origin, and style.

“The splendid rooms of the Palazzo Reale make this first presentation even more special in a public institution,” declared the City Councilor for Culture of the City of Milan, Filippo Del Corno, describing one of the most famous and significant museums in the world.

The exhibition presents nine looks of Italians and foreign masters of photography, who face in a unique way a unique and precious place for art, history, and architecture.

The photographers chosen to work inside the Vatican Museums are Bill Armstrong, Peter Bialobrzeski, Antonio Biasiucci, Alain Fleischer , Francesco Jodice, Mimmo Jodice, Rinko Kawauchi, Martin Parr, and Massimo Siragusa.

Each of them has worked in different moments and on different aspects of this plural museum, creating nine independent works that document and interpret the internal and architectural space of the rooms, the flow of visitors, and the memories that animate people and environments on a daily basis as well as those stored in deposits, and showing signs of wear and bodily traces.

This is the first time that a museum has commissioned a production of this type, aimed at creating a new photographic collection inextricably linked to the museum itself, which becomes its subject and addressee.

“Commissioning to a group of ‘voices’ and ‘eyes’ of the international art scene a sort of report that opens the doors of the Vatican Museums to the world, showing them in their complexity, is a bold operation that testifies the vitality of a unique place and not without contradictions,” stated Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museum.

The project is entitled “In full light,” as the nine photographers interpret the Vatican Museums and intends to build a series of paths between imagination and memory, documentation and interpretation, composing a set of images that can become an archive of the present, an instrument of understanding and observation, and key to access future surveys through different visions while remaining current and differently necessary.

The exhibition is accompanied by a volume published by Edizioni Musei Vaticani and Contrasto, with texts by David Campany, Giovanni Careri, Micol Forti, Barbara Jatta, Johanne Lamoureux, and Alessandra Mauro.