Friday, July 17, 2009

Exhibition : Fausto Giaccone at Anzenberger Gallery

There is a piece of history , a piece of personal life but also something which belongs to us through the photos of Fausto Giaccone , Italian photographer who has witnessed 40 years of photojournalism in this retrospective "68 Altrove" (68 Elsewhere) which Anzenberger Gallery put online . I know Fausto since I was working as a photo editor in Vienna, he was a good teacher to me and I am happy to post this article choosing a photo from Orgosolo in Sardinia.
here the text which accompany the photos
A Glance at Life
The perception of an age and the meaning of history are far from objective: there are events that, as time passes, expand or shrink, take a central place or fade into the background of memory. Naturally, some objective criteria do exist – documents and quantitative data, which help to put everything in the right perspective. However, these become inadequate when that which is being evoked is not just an historical reality, but also the atmosphere that made it distinctive. From this point of view, photography plays a vital role, even though it must then be interpreted, because taking a photograph is always a process of choosing, of cutting out a piece of a space at the expense of another, of favouring a “before” or an “after.”
Much has been said and written about the year 1968, especially every ten years, like clockwork, we often get the impression that we are looking at its transformation, by those who strike a rhetorical key and turn it into a myth, but also by those who, on the contrary, denigrate it with suspicious animosity. Like all meaningful moments that changed, if not the world, then at least our way of observing, interpreting and living it, the year 1968 has become the source of an ongoing dispute, which seems to forget the uniqueness of a period characterized by the vital role of collective action, by the importance of music that plays like a soundtrack to the events, by the role of photographic and cinematographic images, which are able to convey the feelings of an entire generation. The iconography of the year 1968 (by which we mean a wider period of time, starting in the mid-Sixties and ending a few years later) is particularly rich, as each demonstration and event was shot by numerous photographers, both amateur and professional. The enthusiasm and the awareness of being the protagonists of an era was infectious, and also influenced those who were capturing it in their films, thus becoming involved in a profession with an undeniable fascination. The Nikon F was like a guitar. Both seemed easy to use because anyone could take a shot or play a C scale, but they were also selective, because few people could play or photograph like a virtuoso. The era of “activist reportage” marks a turning-point in Italy, even compared to the recent past, because so-called Neorealist photography had with a few exceptions been poetic, lyrical, and often social, but not so directly political. The camera became a pointed weapon, to be used in the manner of the great foreign reporters: Eugene Smith, who recounted the lives of simple people, Dorothea Lange, who turned the stories of Steinbeck’s novels into images, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, who knew how to capture moments in time and transform them into emotions. So much was changing, the world seemed to be shrinking because travel was becoming easier and more economical if one was willing to use army surplus clothes, jeans, sleeping bags, hitch-hiking. At the same time the world’s borders seemed to be expanding, because there wasn’t one place on earth untouched by ferment, discussions, revolutions. The first of many generations that wasn’t called up to fight a war discovered a desire to be together, a curiosity for the world, and even a bitter after-taste of anger.