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From Sept. 3 to 11, 2022, Prato's Sala Campolmi will host "MIRRORS," a contemporary photography event curated by Alberto Desirò, with the artistic advice of Vittorio D'Onofri, Romina Sangiovanni and Erika Lacava and the collaboration of Simone Ridi. The exhibition, organized under the patronage of the City of Prato and with the support of the Prato Department of Culture, collects, in more than one hundred photographs on fine art paper, the reflections of 22 Italian and international women artists on a theme of frequent interest in contemporary photography: the mirror, understood as a metaphor of the self. 

In contemporary photography, the self-timer has often been used as a tool for research and inner analysis in order to move, through the physical body, to a deeper self-analysis. A privileged medium of investigation, in the self-portrait the subject becomes at the same time the object, in an identification that, through the photographic medium, becomes even sharper. The camera, in fact, allows the artist to self-retract by thinning the boundary of technical and temporal mediation, in a vision that appears as immediate as that offered by the mirror. 

The exhibition project "MIRRORS" includes the participation of women artists who have gained a long experience in conceptual photographic research, here reproposed through a series of shots with a unified breath. Through the works in the exhibition, we move from an incorporeal, evanescent self, in search of a physical dissolution that showcases the persistence of the soul, to a body investigated through the objects of memory, from the body multiplied in its thousand doubles to the corroded one, crumbled by the action of time. Another constant element of analysis is the relationship of the body with the surrounding space, which not only acts as a set but becomes a relational object with which the artists place themselves in dialogue, making it the protagonist of the story and an active interlocutor. From abandoned places, to bare bedrooms that show the signs of time, to mirrors that directly enter the scene presenting a different and emancipated self, space enters the body as the body in it, in an osmosis made of textures, lines and colors in which the place merges and blends with the portrayed bodies in search of a new space-time dimension in which to live.

Against this backdrop of shared reflections, the "MIRRORS" event is also configured as a tribute to the work of Francesca Woodman (1958-1981), among the twentieth-century photographers who have most reflected on this theme, whose artistic production focuses on the relationship between the body, as subject and object simultaneously, and her own gaze. In her photographic investigation, Woodman has always favored the self-timer as a tool for research and narrative, through an aesthetic focused on the fusion of body and space, often favoring abandoned places, reinterpreted in a surrealist and visionary dimension. Through experiments such as the moving body, double exposure or long exposure times, Woodman obtained, in the 1970s, blurred faces bordering on recognizability that denote a constant search and questioning of her own identity. Francesca Woodman lived between the United States and Italy (Florence, Rome) and left, in just ten years, between 13 and 22, over 800 photographs. Her visual language inspired many artists and is still alive and present today, with exhibitions dedicated to her work all over the world.

The "MIRRORS" event will host, in the Conference Room of the Lazzerini Library, a series of side events, workshops and lectures on the subject, to analyze the photographic portrait from both theoretical-conceptual and technical-practical perspectives. 

The panel of invited guests will include Giorgio Bonomi, author of the book dedicated to the photographic self-shot, "The Solitary Body," now in its third volume; Alfredo Allegri, who will offer the reading "The Guest," a prose tribute to Francesca Woodman; and Romina Sangiovanni, with a talk dedicated to Woodman, "Rooms with an Inside View." For the workshop part, there will be technical-practical workshops "Image and Copyright in the Internet Age" led by Enrico Bisenzi, EPSON color management expert, and "Once upon a time... but let's come to today: discussion on color with a great duel between Driver and Rip as a function of Fine Art printing," by Gaetano Biraghi of EPSON in collaboration with Alex Tomaiuoli. 
The video installation "Swans never die" by Ivonne Bello and Luca Di Bartolo will also be present throughout the event. During the opening night, it will be possible to have an informal dialogue with the artists in the exhibition to learn more about their photographic projects.

Exhibited artists

All Exhibited Artists