Milan, July 31 (askanews) – Twenty-five years of photography at the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato, in the first solo exhibition in a museum dedicated to Jacopo Benassi: with the Vuoto exhibition, curated by Elena Magini, from 8 September to 1 November 2020 the Prato museum offers a glimpse of the powerful, highly personal, mediation-free work of the photographer from La Spezia.
From the artist’s studio partially recreated within the exhibition in the halls of the Centro Pecci, the exhibition project develops in a dilated spatiality that welcomes some of the author’s most significant series and works, and also flows into city spaces, in to which the exhibition is announced by a site-specific billboard project.
His first photograph is that of a punk group in a social center: since the end of the eighties Jacopo Benassi is trained in the underground culture of La Spezia, developing over time a particular style made up of lack of depth of field and flash; a raw, true photograph, despite the total lack of real light: a forced act, an event created by the artist in which the perfect shot does not exist.
Benassi’s subjects are the most disparate, from humanity that inhabits international underground and musical culture (starting from the experience of the Btomic club, managed by the photographer with some friends) to portraits of models, actresses, artists, stylists published in the most important Italian magazines, up to the investigation on the body, which varies from the autobiographical documentation of sexual encounters, to the intense gaze on ancient statuary and which can be considered the “red thread” of its gargantuan production.
A special place in Benassi’s work is occupied by the self-portrait, often linked to his performance path: experimentation on performance, his or others’, is constantly linked to music and is always mediated by the photographic image, subject and object of his Research.
The exhibition also presents unpublished works related to Benassi’s interest in publishing and the production of books; The series The Belt was born from an editorial work in the process of publication, a project on the industrial district of Prato in collaboration with the Manteco Archive, which besides being exhibited is the protagonist of the public billboards in the city in the days preceding the exhibition.
With The Belt, from August 31 the activities, tools, men and women that animate the textile district of Prato become the subjects of the images displayed on large advertising billboards in various points of the city. The choice to anticipate the exhibition with a public billboard campaign that presents Benassi’s work on Prato and its factories, responds to the museum’s interest in leaving its walls and seeking a more dynamic and direct relationship with the city community.
The title of the exhibition – Vuoto – recalls the specific sensation of the author with respect to his production, a desire to get naked, pulling everything out of himself, in a path of public self-exposure.
In this exhibition the photographer gives himself entirely to the viewer, delivering his studio, his tools, the creative landscape that accompanies him in the gestation of the work, the set of shots that give life to a twenty-year survey on identity issues , at night, at work.
An act of openness to the outside that constitutes a zero point in the artist’s career and, on the other hand, a possible rebirth.