FE 2015

Un progetto del Comune di Reggio nell'Emilia
Comune di Reggio Emilia – Città delle persone

  • Merda n° 10, Castelbosco, Piacenza, 2014 © Carlo Valsecchi
    Merda n° 10, Castelbosco, Piacenza, 2014 © Carlo Valsecchi
  • # 0906 Etna, Catania, 2014  © Carlo Valsecchi
    # 0906 Etna, Catania, 2014 © Carlo Valsecchi

Carlo Valsecchi


The photos on show in Reggio Emilia by Carlo Valsecchi come from three apparently separate bodies of work. One of these has finished – Mare Nostrum, a project that lasted five years and was organised around a nautical map on a numeric grid, which numbered and named all the seas that surround Italy. The other two – Vulcano and Merda are still ongoing.

Vulcano involves working on the peak of Mount Etna in Sicily, where the power of nature, beyond the limits of the woodland vegetation, manifests its destructive and generative aspects.

Merda is his research into the process of transformation of bovine excrement used to produce electricity through anaerobic digestion. A productive cycle with no waste and with a positive effect on the environment, created in Italy.

After his work on the interaction between man and nature in Argentina which became part of San Luis, displayed at MART in Rovereto, this selection develops the theme of Valsecchi’s research into a new dialogue between the essence of nature (Vulcano and Mare) and the essence of living beings, both human and animal (Merda).

Carlo Valsecchi’s works exhibited here are part of the group exhibition No Man Nature.


Exhibition curated by Elio Grazioli and Walter Guadagnini
Works by Darren AlmondEnrico BedoloRicardo CasesPierluigi FresiaStephen GillDominique Gonzalez-Foerster e Ange LecciaMishka HennerAmedeo MarteganiRichard MosseThomas RuffBatia SuterCarlo ValsecchiHelmut Völter


The approach chosen for the No Man Nature exhibit is to explore the topics of ‘nature without man’ and ‘man without nature’, suggesting a heuristic reflection flowing from two opposite extremes. These extremes no longer mean just the unexplored, the unknown, the invisible and the unimaginable, but actually imply the possibility of a world no longer inhabited by man and, at the opposite end, of man’s invention of a world no longer inhabited by nature. These possibilities can in turn be perceived as dangers: on the one hand, there is the ecological danger of the destruction of nature and the self-destruction of the human species, and on the other, there is the danger of a “technological” euphoria with the attendant isolation of the human being from the world.   And again: sometimes we yearn to live in an unspoilt and deserted natural environment, like a dream of an impossible new beginning, while at the same time we are building a world modelled entirely on the virtual and the imaginary, including a natural world that is equally virtual and imaginary.

Finally, we might argue that if things are, or are going, that way, then there must be a reason for it. Hence, our reflection on extreme cases will also be an inquiry into ‘where we are at’. The exhibit uses images in order to raise these questions, putting forward examples that will urge viewers to ask themselves what their own position is with regard to these questions.

The general idea is always to use photography not as a document and a representation in itself, but as an opportunity in terms of the questions it elicits and its thought-provoking power. The issues raised about the man-nature relationship thus also become a metaphor of the role and function of photography.


Carlo Valsecchi (Brescia, 1965)

Carlo Valsecchi research starts with a concept of mental space. The aim of his work is to identify a language, a system of representation among the infinite possibilities, in which the mental space finds its boundaries and translates them into physical space.

His photos aim to investigate the many aspects of reality through a process of transformation that often uses abstraction codes: a way of trying to go beyond the objectivising inclination of phototgraphy.


His work was on show in 1992 at the Venice Architecture Biennale and later in Italy and abroad.

Other exhibitions include: The Italian Cultural Institute, New York 1999; The Guggenheim Foundation, Venice 2000; Galerie 213, Paris 2001; Studio Casoli, Milan 2001; Semaines européennes de l’image – Le bàti, le vivant, Luxembourg 2002; GAMeC, Bergamo 2003; “A ferro e fuoco” Triennale, Milan 2006; Paris Photo, Statements, Paris 2007; “Past, Present, Future”, Highlights from the UniCredit Group Collection, Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna 2009; “Lumen”, a mid-career retrospective, Musée de l’Elysèe, Lausanne 2009, displayed at the Walter Keller Gallery, Zurich 2009 and at the Carla Sozzani Gallery, Milan, 2011; “San Luis” at the MART Museum, Rovereto 2011; 54th Venice Biennale, the Italian Pavilion, invited by Norman Foster, Corderie dell’Arsenale di Venezia, Venice, 2011; “Subverted”, Ivorypress, Madrid, 2012; “Landmark: The Fields of Photography”, Somerset House, London, 2013; “Mare Nostrum”, Walter Keller Gallery, Zurich, 2013; Roberto Coda Zabetta and Carlo Valsecchi, Case Chiuse di Paola Clerico, garage Soccol, Milan, 2015. Galleries of Reference: Guido Costa Projects Turin, Ivorypress Madrid.

The publication Lumen, Hatje Cantz 2009, won The German PhotoBook of the Year award 2010.


Saturday, May 16

11am_Teatro Cavallerizza
No Man Nature: Diane Dufour, Elio Grazioli and Walter Guadagnini with Enrico Bedolo, Pierluigi Fresia, Mishka Henner, Carlo Valsecchi, Helmut Völter. Book signing to follow


2pm_Palazzo da Mosto
No Man Nature: Enrico BedoloPierluigi FresiaMishka HennerCarlo ValsecchiHelmut Völter and curators answer at questions by public

exhibition venue

Palazzo da Mosto
via Mari, 7
42121 Reggio Emilia



opening hours

• during the inaugural days
05/15 › 7pm - midnight
05/16 › 10am - midnight
05/17 › 10am - midnight
• from May 22 to July 26 the exhibits are open from friday to sunday
Friday › 4pm-11pm
Saturday › 10am-11pm
Sunday-holidays › 10am-8pm

Palazzo da Mosto