EXHIBITION | No place like home

A gatebost ornament. Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. 1996 © Martin Parr/ Magnum Photo 


curated by Francesco Zanot 

Aco-production of Magnum Photos, Fotofestival Mannheim_Ludwigshafen_Heidelberg, MuCEM and Musée Nicéphore Niépce.

times and locations

via Secchi, 11
42121 Reggio Emilia

friday 2nd may open from 6.30 pm to midnight; saturday 3rd and sunday 4th may from 10 am to midnight; from 7th may to 15th june open on saturday from 10 am to 11 pm, sunday from 10 am to 9 pm


“In every era and geographical location, the ‘h.’ is an expression of the human intention of transforming the natural habitat by means of artificial solutions devised for purposes of defence or to provide shelter from the elements, but especially in order to delimit and personalize a place and making it suitable to satisfy private needs”. What is the hidden word designated by ‘h.’ in the preceding sentence? ‘Home’, of course, and these few lines taken from the Treccani Italian encyclopaedia’s definition of ‘home’ are sufficient to describe the main core of the No Place Like Home exhibit. Here, the work of eight contemporary photographers investigates a series of possible strategies for occupying and utilizing a territory as seen in various parts of the world during the last twenty years.
Where and with whom do the members of our species live? These are the two main questions which the photographs address themselves to, without finding an answer to them, but putting together numerous options that are, to a greater or lesser degree, close to our experience, widespread and bearable. There are Martin Parr’s bourgeois villas, each decorated according to the owners’ tastes, Bruce Gilden’s American prefabs, torn down or put up for sale after the crisis, Jonas Bendiksen’s metropolitan slums and the people caught by surprise by Mikhael Subotzky’s camera around the Ponte City skyscraper, a symbol of the unquenchable aspirations and difficulties of Johannesburg, the families portrayed by Trent Parke in Australia, Jacob Aue Sobol in Greenland and Christopher Anderson in Brooklyn, as distant from each other as they are close in terms of the warmth of their intimacy, through to the precarious solutions of migrants in the Mediterranean captured by Patrick Zachmann in the Mare Mater series.
In a famous interview published in Wired magazine in 1996, Rem Koolhaas stated: “People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable anywhere and ecstatic anywhere”. A confirmation of this view actually comes from the images taken by these photographers, which in the meantime record and convey countless details about architecture, town planning, geopolitics and the biographies of the subjects portrayed. It is a kind of transcendence of the very need for a design: whether or not it sustains each person’s way of living, it does not actually determine their happiness. What’s left is an inextricable mix of community and individualism, a search for solutions that allow people to establish their belonging to a social group (finding comfort there) and at the same time express themselves. Standardization and distinction: regardless of any local, cultural or economic factor, inhabiting is defined as a complex process of searching for a balance between these two opposite terms.


Martin Parr
Bruce Gilden
Jonas Bendiksen
Mikhael Subotzky
Christopher Anderson
Trent Parke
Jacob Aue Sobol
Patrick Zachmann