"I believe Italy is going through some special moments in photography. The quality and visibility of Italian photographers has been going steadily up in the past few years. A proof is the great amount of Italian photographers being awarded internationally: excellent recognition of great work from the photo world. Italian photographers seem to have matured in the past few years, with very original styles and visions.
Editorially, Italy, suffering like many countries with less pages and less money for photography in magazines, still has quite a few good titles that are dedicating space, and quality, to good documentary stories and reportage. The art world is paying attention to photographic work in our small country as well. What is missing, I believe, is funding and support for photographers developing long term projects, and for curatorial work that gives space and dignity to photography.
I have decided to select 3 Italian women who have been working beyond the borders of the country so not specifically linked to Italian identity. They are all dealing with issues that are more or less directly related to the emotional world of women, young and old, mothers and not. With very different styles and approaches, they investigate, with softness and care, the complex world of femininity, family, maternity, identity. Myriam Meloni with BEHIND THE ABSENCE focuses with a more journalistic eye on the phenomenon of massive emigration from Moldova: mothers and fathers leave their children to go and work abroad to ensure a better future for their families. But what about the present? What about these hundreds of thousands of kids growing up without their parents nearby? With BARELY LEGAL Paola de Grenet walks the subtle line of identity of girls that have just become of major age: they are women but still girls, and their glance firmly pushes forward the adult while the pose and the body language is still shy and vulnerable, or viceversa. Camilla de Maffei also talks about women in her project SMOKING WOMEN, still in progress, which looks at older aged prostitutes and explores womanhood and beauty from a different point of view.
Searching for stories outside the borders is a trend in photography, in general. As for living outside of their native country, maybe not. All three of them have been living abroad, even if the original reason for moving out was not photography specifically. Certainly their international experiences (each of them have plenty, and also interesting background in other matters than photography!) have enriched their vision and ability to search for interesting stories that are 'outside the box'. Living and working outside of Italy might have helped them to "free"their eyes and look beyond, letting go of some “trends” that might get stuck on you, as a reflex, when you are from a traditional country with some strong historical movements in photography."
Arianna Rinaldo, on Italian Photography
Arianna Rinaldo is the invited curator of this exhibition. She is the director of Ojodepez magazine, dedicated to showcase emerging and established photographers from different parts of the world. She began her career as archive director at Magnum Photos NY, and later worked as photo editor for Colors Magazine and D, the weekend supplement of Italy’s main daily newspaper, La Repubblica. She is also the artistic director of Cortona On The Move, an annual photo festival in Tuscany, Italy.