Die Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung Kultur -  Current
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Guido Guidi: Millenovecentonovanta-duemilasei, 1990–2006 (01), © Guido Guidi

Il deserto rosso now – Photographic reactions to Antonionis classic film

A project by Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur in collaboration with the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Linea di Confine, Rubiera, and Osservatorio Fotografico, Ravenna

September 1, 2017–January 28, 2018, in Room 1

Works by more than thirty artists are being presented within the scope of this German-Italian project that examine the influential film Il deserto rosso (1964) by Michelangelo Antonioni (1912–2007). Internationally, the director counts among the filmmakers whose influential bodies of work are highly admired by artists and photographers. Il deserto rosso (Red Desert), which was shot in the industrial region around Ravenna and whose innovative coloration is particularly striking, provides a wide variety of artistic stimuli, especially for a photographic examination.

The artists participating in the "Il deserto rosso now project" are associated with the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig (the classes taught by Prof. Joachim Brohm and Anna Voswinckel) as well as with the photography initiatives Linea di Confine in Rubiera und Osservatorio Fotografico in Ravenna. In 2013, the first participants set out in search of traces in the northern Italian landscape around Ravenna, which continues to be characterized by industrial sites, for the purpose of visiting Antonioni’s former locations, not only in a concrete respect but under atmospheric circumstances as well. The industrial backdrop in the film is the visual soundtrack, so to speak, accompanying the emotional, melancholy moods of the protagonists, in particular the young married woman Giuliana. Sounding out the psychogram of Giuliana and creating contemporary images that lend expression to her fears, her loneliness, and her sense of loss in the modern world and furthermore translate it into a universal language are threads that take effect in the photographic series and film contributions in the exhibition.

Il deserto rosso was the first film Antonioni made in which he discovered color as a multilayered aesthetic element. Thus the series currently on display repeatedly reflect on coloration as an artistic, corresponding, and symbolic visual material up to the point that it becomes absolute in the form of an image.

The fact that the narrative is subject to different representational conditions in photography and film is a media-reflexive issue that is pursued in the exhibition not only in spatial installations in the area of film and projection. By bringing in auditory and textual forms of expression, for example, photographic series also reflect on the various narrative possibilities and achieve independent results.

Several artists have chosen the photobook as a further medium of expression. The thematic focal points are wide-ranging and include topographic explorations of the industrial landscape and urban space, portraits, and representational detail studies.

Overall, the exhibition is of great documentary and poetic variety. It pursues the interaction between various media and once more demonstrates the relevance of existing materials and inspiration for the development of new tendencies in artistic photography.

The participating artists: Fabrizio Albertini, Mariano Andreani, Daniele Ansidei, Jakob Argauer, Daniel Augschöll/Anya Jasbar, Enrico Benvenuti, Joachim Brohm, Christoph Brückner, Luca Capuano, Danny Degner/Vera König, Eva Dittrich/Katarína Dubovská, Alessandra Dragoni, Johannes Ernst, Marcello Galvani, João Grama, William Guerrieri, Guido Guidi, Gerry Johansson, Sophia Kesting, Philipp Kurzhals, Dana Lorenz, Allegra Martin, Mako Mizobuchi, Francesco Neri, Andrea Pertoldeo, Sabrina Ragucci/Giorgio Falco, Alexander Rosenkranz, Valentina Seidel, Anna Voswinckel, Jakob Wierzba, Xiaoxiao Xu.

The group exhibition’s first station was at Linea di Confine in Rubiera in October of last year. "Il deserto rosso now" is now being presented in Cologne in modified form. It will be accompanied by the catalogues Die Straßen, die Fabriken, die Farben, der Himmel, die Menschen—In Referenz ‘Il deserto rosso’ (German/English/Italian) (Fotohof, Salzburg) and Red Desert Now! The legacy of Antonioni in contemporary Italian photography (English/Italian) (Linea de Confine).


Room 2:

A Look at the Collection:
Francesco Neri – Trophy and Treasure

September 1 - October 17 and November 9, 2017 - January 28, 2018 in Room 2

One may view the individual photographs by Francesco Neri (*1982 in Faenza) as “trophies” or as “treasures.” In his series, the photographic image shows itself in all of its cultural value. Neri presents it in a multitude of ways—as object, as a means of communication and document, as memento, as composition, as reproduction and transformation, and finally as an independent work of art.

Produced in the home of his grandparents, the series, of which about 30 exhibits have been selected for the exhibition, allows personal insight into the private and professional life of Francesco Neri’s family. The areas of medicine (father and grandfather were physicians) and hunting play a particular role. There is hardly a photograph that does not exhibit traces of these activities. The images include both sensitive interiors in the manner of a classic still life as well as landscape photographs and views of nature. The portraits of his parents, which the photographer takes in everyday situations – observing them casually, as it were – testify to great closeness. Francesco Neri’s photographs cast light on the metaphorical strength of the moment; the blurring of profession, family, and personal interest; as well as the entanglement of historical dimensions through the medium.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue (Verlag Snoeck).

August Sander Award

A new prize for photography starting in 2018

For further information please click here.


Exhibitions On Tour:

August Sander: Das Gesicht der Landschaft – Rheinland und Siebengebirge
Siebengebirgsmuseum, Königswinter
November 30, 2017 – April 29, 2018

Public Guided Tours

Each Sunday at 15 hrs during the exhibition period (in German, please contact us for tours in English)

The education programme is supported by the Society of Patrons of Die Photographische Sammlung.

Opening hours and entrance fee

The exhibition opens daily 14-19hrs, closed on Wednesday

Entrance fee 5,50 € (red. 3,00 €)
Entrance free on the first Monday of each month!