Laboratory 2009


By Stefano Grassi and Pamela Sau
Arrangement of  Wanda Nazzari


Since September 11th to 20th 2009
Showroom - Citadel of Museums
Piazza Arsenale 8 – Cagliari

beat_generationThere are already fifteen years from the moment when Cultural Centre Man Ray opened for the first time in Cagliari its doors to the School of Photography, that formed many names of noted island photographers. Fifteen years is a long time, when language, taste and trend of society are changed. A merit of the Man Ray Photo School was to keep up the pace with a time, maintaining its initial force and receiving opportunities offered by new technologies that enter into the world of photography and not only.

The school, of semestral duration, is held by Stefano Grassi, professional photographer and chairman of Cultural Centre Man Ray; it provides not only the fundamental concepts for professional use of camera, but also tools for a conscious choice of its expressive potentialities, for a development of creative intuition, for “imagining” of an image.

Specific sectors of research and study are portrait, social and geographical reportage and set photos, through the production of various photographic sets realized with a help of professionals of this field.

Fundamental subjects are: Education to Image, indispensable for a correct approach to visual arts; History of Art and Photography and Cinematic Criticism, that offer to students a synthetic vision of contemporary artistic currents that concern particularly photography and cinema. Other subjects are: Theory of Photography, Digital Photography, Techniques of Shooting, Strategy for Enterprise.

Every student through the creation of portfolio of images develops, for all the duration of a course, a research about one theme, choosing one determined subject to photograph, analyze, study and deepen.

An exhibition Laboratory 2009 represents a result of single and collective photographic work realized during a year by students in the course.

The theme of the group was inspired by the Beat Generation, United States literary movement born in 1950. Students, Beat_generation_-_Laboratorio_2009directed by Stefano Grassi, realized different sets inside of appropriate location, performing both as organizers and protagonists. Images represent nonconforming side and nonviolent rebellion of the Beat group, expressed in community life, in travels “on the road”, in experience with narcotic substances and in the passion for poetry and music. Beat is intended as a rhythm, a beating heart of poetics, but also as a word play that assumes a double meaning of beatitude and defeat. A generation at the same time blessed and beaten by society, by its compulsions, by useless wars and by racial and sexual prejudices.

Single topics inside of the exhibition range over from the genre of portrait and of human figure and this one of landscape and archaeology reportage until more conceptual, metaphoric and symbolic photographic genre.

A portrait is a photographic theme par excellence right from the beginning of photography. Its ambits can be various and is distinguished by the typology of the proposed subject. Massimiliano Mocci and Simona Pilia both deal with a theme of female portrait but in a different manner. At first, women are captured outside, photos appear almost stolen and attention of photographer is concentrated on fugacious looks reflecting determination and personality. In the second, we can assist more emotional and confidential relation between subject and photographer, two typical aspects of Glamour genre, where complicity becomes an essential ingredient for the success of the portrait.

Deliah Curreli put in the center of her research children, letting to leak a maternal relation that intimately unites her to them. The family environment is one of the ideal conditions to realize this typology of images. Also photos of Rino Cadoni are portraits of children realized during his travels, made by meetings and discoveries. He documents human aspect, fundamental in travel photography, made with a right sensibility. Portrait begins with a desire of knowledge and of collection of feelings to take home a story through the images of moments of life.

In the series of Maggie Gometz portrait assumes social connotations. Photographer capture a fundamental moment of Tonnara of Carloforte, while fishers cut and work tuna fished during the tuna killing. Sight is cruel but in the same time emotional, where the main importance is given to the job of protagonist that in Sardinia has ancient origins.

Valentina Cardia pays homage to female and male body through arduous genre of photographic nude. Her series of photos “Nude that looks” represent figures next to the window. Female figure assumes almost the pose in the Man Ray style, that take back to frames of its first movie “Le retour a la raison”.

Beat_generation_1_-_Laboratorio_2009Some students affront the theme of landscape, moving their attention from the human figure in the environment that surrounds it and to interaction with atmospheric events. Etymology of the word photography is “to draw with a light” and Alessandro Muscas, in his series “Architectures”, does emerge this aspect through experimentation that is more than realistic representation, through a work that captures games of lights and shadows, inside the interstices that give a life to hardly recognizable abstract forms. Are “Without a Title” landscapes of Daniele Aresu, strongly broken and in the state of abandonment. There is not a will to denounce but only documentation. Refined black and white captures the compositions of lines, volumes and lights of architectures that assume a separate meaning, almost surreal.

Mirko Pusceddu through the photographic eye tries to give back a breath and force to “ruins” of constructions of rural Sardinian landscape. There are evocative images full of force and balance that let to spectator a distressing familiar feeling and in the same time of strong impact.

In the images of Marco Sanna “Forms of Water” there is a temporal suspension, desert places have as a protagonist water, natural element that makes a contour to antropic forms and artificial elements, that are exalted thanks to photographic tools and profit of print, that makes images similar to pictures.

Series of Giuseppe Frau, also “Without a title”, transmits a frantic and fluid sense of movement. There are photos realized with long exposures inside empty stations filled by an effect of spin of lights and lines, remembering confuse and chaotic coming and going of this place.

Photography also can refer to other meanings, a work of research of some students has as a point of departure one concept, understood as a metaphor explainable through different symbolic images.

Elisabetta Collu realizes a “Self-portrait” in the clothes of a clown. A work of strong introspection that takes one’s cue from par excellence ambiguous figure, a buffoon that represents a symbol of modern life, at times ironic and melancholic.

Giorgia Piras portrays “A cycle of life” capturing with single photos its various phases: from birth until death, highlighting transformations of one person, of body, of thought and behavior in times.

Eugenia Zykova treats a theme of “The Waiting”, congealing situations suspended in different parts of the world. There are still images of deep psychologic research that suggest us a state of mind of protagonists, who assume different attitudes, also being captured in the same precise slice of time.

Rudy Cardia realizes a sequence of photos entitled “Use abuse and end”. A complex theme, with a dramatically real taste, where camera is an accomplice of some perverse game, where a body, female or male, corrupt and utilized in the same way like a manikin, refers to predictable final result.

Marcello Nocera affronts a difficult theme of juvenile uneasiness, in his images entitled “Christian” and “Maurizio”, appears an existential juvenile condition, conditioned probably by elements of modern society, by physiologic and psychologic difficulties of growth of present generations. An uneasiness to  exist offhand in the completely different world from that one of childhood.

In collaboration with:

Fondazione Banco di SardegnaUniversità degli Studi di CagliariAttilio Secchi Parrucchieri