curated by Daniele De Luigi
The historic architecture of the old Officine Meccaniche Reggiane warehouses and the futuristic Santiago Calatrava bridges are the backdrop for the appearance of two bizarre and enigmatic figures who act in the landscape and explore the connection between production and power. Letizia Calori and Violette Maillard, a.k.a. Calori & Maillard, explore these old and new spaces of the town of Reggio Emilia on several levels: metaphor, value, experience and history, with the project Energia Potenziale (“Potential Energy”), curated by Daniele De Luigi.
Calori & Maillard’s images, finally reach Fotografia Europea 2018 with an exhibit inside the new Spazio U30CINQUE venue, after having been part of an urban action with a strong collective impact, in which the installations were displayed on the advertising spaces of the avenues surrounding the historical center, of the Santa Croce district and under the porch of Piazza Casotti, in autumn 2017.
“The former Officine Reggiane factories are the key to our understanding of the last century of history of Reggio Emilia, as well as its role in national political, social and economic landscape. Being aware of this, the town has undertook an important action of recovery and enhancement of its historical archive, while the former warehouse area has become the subject of the work of several photographers who documented, promoted and shared the projects for its functional restauration, while the open-air museum of street art that spontaneously rose among the abandoned buildings was mapped.
Calori & Maillard’s artistic intervention at the Reggiane factories scratches the surface of the wide visible spectrum, combining the use of photography, sculpture and performance. Building on their previous Fashion Show project, which “focused on the use of architectural forms as a representation of power, in relation to body and social dynamics”, they trigger the appearance of two bizarre and enigmatic characters that enter and interact in the landscape of industrial archeology, becoming a dissonant element.
Their stage is the industrial archeology of the decommissioned warehouses, but also the futuristic architecture of the bridges designed by Santiago Calatrava.
They capture the threads of avant-garde theater, the bond of surrealism with myth and unconsciousness, the radical criticism of the twentieth century. The strongly playful and grotesque character of their images reveals the authentic nature of the two characters: they are the fruit of the dreams; they make the hidden side of the transparent and rational religion of modernity emerge, like a mask, in a manifestation of invisible and superior forces that, through productive and economic cycles, make the history of the contemporary Western world move on. » (Daniele De Luigi)
Achieved in Reggio Emilia in collaboration with STU Reggiane, Istoreco, Fondazione Palazzo Magnani – Fotografia Europea under the project “DE.MO / Panorami contemporanei e luoghi in trasformazione – Residenze di Fotografia in Italia” promoted by Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo and GAI – Associazione per il circuito dei giovani artisti italiani .
In collaboration with Comune di Bari, Città di Perugia, Comune di Reggio Emilia.
The initiative is co-financed by Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri – Dipartimento della Gioventù e del Servizio Civile Nazionale e ANCI.