Museo MADRE, Naples

MADRE MUSEUM | Via Settembrini 79
80139 Naples

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press release

The history of human flight and of aerial photography go hand in hand. The first aerial photograph was probably made by one of the greatest photographers of all time, Nadar, who in 1858 took his camera with him in an aerostatic balloon to a height of 80 meters. He was the first to realize that aerial photography would become indispensable to military operations and to mapmaking. In our day, satellites perform this function, while low-altitude aerial photography reinforces and regenerates the profoundly poetic aspect of the wonder and sensation of flight and the possibility of recounting the world from another angle, of reading the urban landscape, the ever-evolving body of the polis, like a geological stratification of society through the horizontal, multi-faceted dilation of the contradictions that make it up. The juxtaposition and coexistence of natural landscape features, of buildings whose eras and uses are always heterogeneous and changing, pours out the dynamism of the city, the drama of history, the antagonisms and contrasts of modernity, which Olivo Barbieri’s photography synthesizes into a densely indicative and allusive mosaic of the trasformations and peculiarities of a territory and the relativity of the shared places that shape its identity. Every detail seems to recompose in a synthesis that breathes and exudes the vital flow of daily life, the weight of history. Naples is perhaps one of the most paintes, photographed, reproduced cities in the world, from the romanticized postcard views of Vesuvius and the bay or the alleys crisscrossed with clotheslines to the horrors of camorra crime and drug-dealing or of garbage too often piled in the streets. every click of the lens risks being rhetorical, redundant, never completely definitive and deliberate, because always in danger of some inevitable reference, some thudding clichè. In Barbieri’s aerial photographs, Naples reconstructs a lost image of itself by means of a more objective redistribution of the ratios of scale between the buildings and their function, and at the same time creates a new, almost unrecognizable one through the originality of the superimpositions, the close-ups and framing, the projections and unexpected geometry of buildings and infrastructures, whetever famous or nameless.

only in german

Site Specific Napoli 09:

Olivo Barbieri
Kurator: Mario Codognato