The Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa and the Fondazione Fotografia Modena present Fantasmi e Realtà, featuring the evocative work of one of the most interesting contemporary German photographers: Axel Hütte.
Produced on the occasion of the 14th Architecture Biennale, the exhibition staged in the spaces of the Gallery in St. Mark's Square includes a major set of new works which the artist produced here in Venice, paying homage to the austere beauty of the noble palazzos of the lagoon city.
"In my architectural photos, the enigmatic nature of space is often coupled with the sensation of slowed time," states Hütte, who alternates night and day, interior and exterior, black & white and colour images in his research.
The gallery in Piazza San Marco will display the results of a project begun in 2012, thanks to a residency project in which Hütte participated, staying in the BLM lodgings, which allowed the artist to shoot a series of images in the palazzos and churches of Venice.
Light is the protagonist of the exhibition, capable of guiding the beholder through the constant alternation between the real and the imaginary,inviting him/her to adopt a conscious and not passive approach, yet one capable wandering freely through the fantasies of the imagination. In the shots of mountain peaks hidden by dark clouds hinting at the eminent arrival of a storm, fog and mists hinder theview, transforming reality into a ghost of itself. The point of view is mysterious: all scale references are removed, the figures often shrouded in clouds like birds in flight; at other times it is almost impossible to trace where the image has been taken.
In the Venetian series, the shots of the palazzos are printed onto glass before being mounted onto a backing mirror which enhances the image with new, disarming and enigmatic reflections. The golden light of the church of Santa Maria dei Frari, just like the lampshade in PalazzoLoredan, create an atmosphere in which its coupling with the darkness becomes a primary element.
Fantasmi e Realtàis part of the programme that the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa is dedicating to the city of Venice, to its cultural phenomena and, most of all, to the artists who have shown themselves to be most able to present it, interpreting its aesthetic evocations in a personal manner - as was the case with the illustrations of Lorenzo Mattotti - or who present its very particular social value, as in the case of the Migropolis exhibition, and the special investigations carried out into the industrial fabric of the territory by Marjetica Potrč, as well as that on the theme of water by Lucy&Jorge Orta.
From Saturday 12 April in the exhibition spaces of the Foro Boario of the Fondazione Fotografia di Modena, the part of the exhibition featuring Hütte's works on the natural landscape will be on show.
These are large-format works, presented side by side with his images taken during his recent residency in the Modena area, along with the main research carried out by the artist over the last decade: multifaceted views passing from the soft lines of the Emilian Apennines up to the sharp peaks of Alpine passes; from the waters of the Rio Negro to the impervious Norwegian glaciers, thus leading the beholder on a journey through unspoilt nature, places sublime to the point of being almost estranged, in which the very perception of reality seems to have been questioned.
Presented by Fondazione Fotografia Modena and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, with the support of UniCredit, the exhibition will remainopen until 29 June 2014.
Two solo shows, one staged in Modena and the other in Venice and both curated by Filippo Maggia, tell of the major research work developed over the years by the artist, leading the onlooker through imagistic landscape visions, his majestic photographs brimming with references to the history of Western art.
The exhibition will also be marked by the presentation of the volume Axel Hütte. Fantasmie Realtà, published by Skira, featuring the two complete series of works produced during his Italian residencies, in Venice and the Modenese Apennines.
Axel Hütte was born in 1951 in Essen, and he now lives and works in Düsseldorf. Between 1973 and 1981 he attended the Düsseldorf Academy, following the courses of the renowned photographer Bernd Becher. Listed together with Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky and Candida Höfer among the photographers of the so-called'Düsseldorf School', he concentrated his research on the theme of the urban and natural landscape. The aesthetic developed by theartist stands out by virtue of the neutrality of his style, typicalof documentary photography. His long exposure times also give hislandscapes an almost pictorial overtone, as well as an atmospherebereft of any time reference.
While his early years were characterised by the precious teachings of the married couple Bernd and Hilla Becher, with neutral and objective visions of German post-war architecture, in 1982 - following a residency in London - he turned his gaze to domestic interiors and industrial buildings, which appear bereft of all human presence. In the mid-'80s, he produced a series of black & white portraits, and at the same time began to work on a new landscape project, presented using large-format prints. Often characterised by anarchitectural element placed in the foreground, standing out against a background enveloped in fog or mist, these images offer a clear definition of the intent of the artist who, far from seeking purist documentation, leaves all geographical or spatial documentation undefined. Towards the end of the '90s, the artist embarked on anew study of the city, developing a series of nocturnal visions exploring the limits of perception: produced in extreme conditions of visibility, they are dominated by an all-encompassing darkness inwhich the few lights present become undistinguishable shapes and stains of colour. At the same time, he also developed his interest in an idea of a pure an original nature: in those years, Hütte set off on a series of journeys towards distant shores in search of uncontaminated landscapes - Arctic glaciers, Equatorial forests,deserts and watercourses - all characterised by the virtual absenceof human traces and by constant shifting of the point of view.
Axel Hütte's works have been displayed in numerous international institutions and galleries. Among the most important venues to have recently presented his work: the MAGASIN-Centre National d'art Contemporain de Grenoble, the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern inValencia (2009), the Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, Paris (2008), the ZKM in Karlsruhe (2006), and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (2004).
Galleria di Piazza San Marco
lunedì e martedì
5 giugno ore 18
full price: 5€
The exhibition is realized with the support of Associazione Culturale Italo-Tedesca di Venezia (ACIT) Deutsch-Italienische Kulturgesellschaft
Prüfungszentrum Goethe Institut