Unseen | 2019

Past Fair

Podbielski Contemporary is proud to participate at Unseen 2019 in Amsterdam, featuring a dialogue between three artists.

Massimiliano Gatti’s  (Pavia, 1981) artistic research fits, with subtle variations, in one of the most fertile furrows of Contemporary Photography. His last project, Le Nuvole (Clouds), inquires on the relationship between historical memory and the present, as well as on contents on the You tube platform. He combines photos of iconic ruins that he took some years ago in Palmyra, the Syrian archaeological site severely damaged and partly destroyed  during the occupation of the Islamic State Army, with some ISIS propaganda-related video frames. Le Nuvole is the title of a comedy by Aristophanes in which the Clouds represent ethereal and impalpable divinities associated with the new philosophical streams. Likewise, Gatti matches pictures of columns and imposing architectural structures to the lightness of the clouds of dust rising.

These pictures put also emphasis on the perception of images during the digital era: with our devices we can access, at any time and in any location, videos published by ISIS on the web. A considerable supply chain of the Islamic state produces propaganda and freely publishes them on youtube by circumventing filters and system security blocks. Massimiliano Gatti’s Nuvole shine a light on a form of easily accessible, violent and nihilistic form of communication, which denies history, memory, past, as well as the roots of our western culture.

The French Photographer Thomas Jorion (Paris, 1976) focuses his research on travels around the world, featuring singular and timeless landscapes, such as urban ruins and abandoned buildings which no longer serve the purposes for which they were originally built. Silencio, one of his previous projects explores the urban landscape in a state of entropy, inviting viewers to reflect on the relationship between the material and the temporal. Vestige d’Empire on the other hand, brings back to our memory a forgotten chapter of  France’s long lasting colonial history, when along with other powerful empires, it ruled the world. His photographs keep such memories alive, so that future generations are made aware of and better perceive history’s glorious and at time distressful past.

At Unseen 2019, Podbielski Contemporary will show his latest series – Veduta – an insight into Italy of another age. Taken from 2009 to 2019, these pictures feature forgotten places, such as palaces, gardens, masserias, country estates, dusty theatres of frozen times imbued with magnificence. These photographs convey a singular aesthetic highlighting dilapidation and eternal beauty, echoing such painters of the eighteenth century  exploring ancient ruins such as Hubert Robert and Piranesi. Crisscrossing Italy, Jorion went from north up to south to bring back to light these mysterious, grandiose, silent and mostly abandoned sites.

Israelian artist, Yuval Yairi, (Jerusalem, 1961) adopts in one of his latest project – Surveyor – the figure of the surveyor as an alter-ego, which allows for introspection and personal soul searching. The surveyor’s role, which Yairi has performed for years as an aerial scout in the army, has left a deep and traumatic imprint on him. His photographic technique involves a meticulous process of capturing created environments in his studio, elaborately detailed. Some of his feature projects are akin to photographic mosaics, created by a process of frame-by-frame shooting, then combined on the grid of his computer to finally become a completed metaphor of intense fascination. His poetics lies in his artistic ability to use disruption and assembly to create an accumulative photography of a timeless space.Podbielski Contemporary successfully featured Surveyor at Artissima, Photo London and Unseen. For this edition, a recently completed new series – Cypher day and night – will be on show.