Le cose che si vedono in cielo
curated by Ilaria Campioli
(The Things One Sees in the Sky)
Since time immemorial, humans have been fascinated by the sky, the stars, the moon and heavenly bodies. From ancient cosmogonies to the most recent space explorations, human beings have concerned themselves with what they cannot see, touch and experience directly. They are concerned with distance, meaning, and the sublime.
Photography, too, has been interested in the sky since its very beginnings, and in the course of its history has developed increasingly sophisticated equipment to capture images of the cosmos. But just as we are getting more and more sophisticated images from more and more distant places, artists are feeling the need to claim back this space of the imagination. Through a selection of recent photo-books, the exhibit offers a reflection upon the boundary between art and science. The artists reinvent and take apart the archetypal images of the cosmos, and lead us to consider how deeply our vision of nature is influenced by the visual memory built up over the years. Through the series of images featured in these books, the artists create new maps and new visions of the universe.
Also on show are the photographs taken during NASA’s various Apollo missions in the late 60s. These shots, which first brought us images of the planet taken from such an incommensurable distance are, more than we might think, a reflection of the historic times that produced them and show how they have become part of our imagery since then.
Even though the books tell us of an infinitely distant space, in actual fact they lead directly inside ourselves, appealing to our desire to know and to imagine.