MIA PHOTO FAIR 2017 in Milan: a critical ride by an amateur fan
In March 2017 the MIA Photo Fair took place in Milan, in the new exhibition center The Mall, in the square Bo Bardi, Porta Nuova. The formula is simply: hospitality to galleries, or even to individual artists, small exhibition spaces, possibility to buy the works. If you are a photo enthusiast, you shouldn’t miss this opportunity: this year there were 130 stands, which means thousands of photos and hundreds of authors; the stands are not organized with the logic of the bazaar, but have their own internal coherence, dedicated to one or a few authors, or subjects or countries (this year it was the turn of Brazil, Asturias, Hungary). The impression is to visit all together (with a real risk of saturation if you want to see everything) a myriad of small exhibitions, where you can get an idea of the trends in contemporary photography. If in the exhibition you can also see some of the great names of Italian and international photography ( just a few names: Scianna, Salgado, Weston, Basil, Klein, Berengo Gardin, Secchiaroli, Roiter, Araki, De Biasi, Polillo) many are the names and authors to discover, while turning around mentally photographing (but unleash your smartphone and take photo you too is not forbidden) the exhibited photographs and trying to figure out which way the wind blows in contemporary photography. Operation very inspiring, but still difficult to draw conclusions; actually shows there is everything: portraits (including very beautiful dedicated to jazz greats, Picasso, Giacometti, Sade), reflections on the body, architectural landscape photos, the study and research photos and so on. These are works that aspire to art rather than to the documentation, so the common feature is the research, the interpretation of reality, the attempt to find new perspectives, new ways of looking, new aesthetic filters through which to view the world. Justified absent reportage photography and strictly naturalistic images. It 'also an opportunity to take a trip through photographic techniques, both shooting and image manipulation that printing on different media: you go around among the many prints on plexiglass, between lightbox and backlights, including lenticular prints producing a striking three-dimensional effect (Jeffrey Robb) and collage, between fantastic articulated compositions and images obtained through digital processing. It 's impossible of course, to account for everything (and any attempt necessarily leaves out many artists and works of great interest), but it is also beyond my ability (mnemonic even more than of judge) provide a rational guide to the best. However I try to give some suggestion. Very interesting I found illusionistic experiments between photography and painting mixture, such as in the images by Claudio Gobbi (winner of the V edition of the prize BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas) or ineffable Liu Bolin, who has his body painted with extreme accuracy so as to fit on even the most complex backgrounds with an amazing camouflage effect. Stimulants too reflections on memory and its corruptibility (intrinsically inherent themes to the theory and practice of photography), such as impaired family pictures by Camilla Biella (14 September (the family memory)), or memory that turns into a nightmare in the monstrous manipulations by Nico Mingozzi (Unbelievable Monsters), or even, going from people to things, in the search for shipwrecks around the world by Stefano Benazzo or in abandoned areas of Marina Paris. Unpredictable and fascinating effects of zenith shots (taken from drones or helicopters), as depicted by Massimo Sestini, Antoine Rose, or Kapcer Kowalski, where, thanks to the unusual and unnatural perspective, reality appears uncanny and evocative, redesigning our perception through graphic elements which shadows on the ground even sometimes contribute to increase. Many researches are directed to abstract (texture, architectural geometries: v. among others Xavier Goodman, Carlo D'Orta, Carlo Borlenghi or Malena Mazza); among the many who do not seem to intervene more directly in a critical discourse on contemporary society we mention the series The Future thrown by Andrea Taschin or Snow storm on the Cayman Islands, which brings down a dense snowfall of dollars on an exotic beach. Nature appears very often filtered, and almost always appears remote, sometimes carried almost to invisibility by surfacing white (snow, water) that submerges it as in Mario Daniele or Pierre Pellegrini, or the darkness in which sinks (Piero Roi, Fabio Bucciarelli, the Unknowns Lands radiographed by Giorgio Majno, the exasperated contrasts of Mimmi Moretti, and so on). Among the synthesized images, are surprising those ones by Maurizio Sapia, which uses the human figure multiplied to compose impossible volumes (spheres, vortices) and formidable landscapes impossible by belgian Eric De Ville. Finally jumping here and there: very interesting experiments with light by Vera Rossi, which comprises real windows to external illusory; nice portfolio of reading people by Claudio Montecucco; funny compositions by Bernard Pras, who reconstructs pop icons assembling objects in common use; very beautiful and intense portraits by Tom Hoops and Mart Engelen; brilliant reflection on the objects in relation to perspective and light by Mario Cucchi. The most beautiful photo? It’s not new: the circle of priests in black robes in the snow, by Mario Giacomelli.