Immagini inquietanti / Disquieting images
disquieting images, co-curated by Germano Celant and Melissa Harris, is a confluence of photographs grounded in an array of real albeit disparate disquieting experiences. The selection insists that attention be paid, how it is perceived, how it challenges, what it says, and what is left unsaid.
It is in the wake of the 1960s – a pivotal decade during which so many social and political mores and values were examined, taken to task, and irrevocably dismantled – that the tone is set for the work comprising “Disquieting Images,” most of which derives from the 1970s to the present. These images hail from all around the world, from Iraq to Texas, Japan to Vietnam, Africa to Haiti, Rwanda to Afghanistan, and concern major cities as well as small urban centers including San Francisco, New York, Palermo, London, Provincetown, Emeryville and Seattle. They speak of subjects that break down the confines of the imaginable because they approach a universe of the social that is latent and threatening as it concerns violence against women, ecological distortion, animal abuse, human obsessions, victims of war, and family.
Disquieting is an elastic term; it is not easily tethered. It may describe an event or object, or it may become the essential experience of that object or event. It can be the deepest personal response or the response elicited in others—is it the work, or the circumstance itself that is disquieting, or is it other people’s response to it that imposes this reading? Disquietude is a primal reaction, and yet founded in a shared disbelief, discomfort. It is one thing and it is another: amorphous, yet visceral, not a judgment, but profoundly felt, an interruption of peace, a troubling silence, something not dismissible, but uncanny, uneasy, uncomfortable--its very is-ness is in its “un” and “dis.”
Through varying degrees of narrative, the photographers have, in collaboration with the curators, selected images and projects that consider notions —sometimes by bearing witness, sometimes more metaphorically— of community, gender, difference, childhood, the environment, and conflict: man and nature, and the nature of man.
Through the compilation of work, disquieting images considers the “ecosystems” merciless because they upset and overturn the order of known things, such as to create a new kind of reality. Meanwhile they also result as issues, events, and experiences brush up against one another, interweave: images provoking more questions than answers, disquietingly getting under your skin in a manner as individually nuanced as the photographers’ sensibilities, the subjects depicted, and the word itself.
Artists in the exhibition include:
Julio Cesar Aguilar Fuentes, Diane Arbus, Letizia Battaglia, Nina Berman, Elena Dorfman, Donna Ferrato, Nan Goldin, Philip Jones Griffiths, Pieter Hugo, Alfredo Jaar, Kohei Yoshiyuki, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mary Ellen Mark, Richard Misrach, James Nachtwey, Michael Nichols, Paolo Pellegrin, Gilles Peress, Eugene Richards, Lise Sarfati, Stephanie Sinclair, Brian Weil, Zalmai.
By A Web Design