“More or Less” is the concept that guides the 2023 edition of the Cortona on the Move photography festival, a theme that opens up endless interpretations and which, almost in contrast with its literary translation, aims to investigate a dichotomous universe in a clear and precise way on which social and individual, past, present and future issues move: a real litmus test that will guide the over 30 artists for over 26 exhibitions of the 13th edition of Cortona On The Move in the iconic Tuscan town.
As stated by Paolo Woods, Artistic Director of the Photography Festival, More or Less is the theme I have chosen for this edition. These categories define the world we live in, our aspirations, our fears, our affiliations. The contrast between abundance and scarcity, the superfluous and the essential, the elite and the masses, accumulation and dispersion. More or Less are typologies whose value changes over time and in terms of geography. Not only are they economic categories, but also ontological ones, a prism through which we see the world. From architecture to music, fashion to literature, cuisine to sport, almost everything can be seen as being on one side or the other of this emblematic divide. Photography is also very much about More or Less, topics around which entire genres have developed. At Cortona On The Move 2023 we will explore More, looking at the past and the present, and linger Less on stereotypes, with a program that offers plentiful hints for understanding our world and, at the same time, is poor in simplifications”.
And in the very long carousel of national and international authors invited to interpret the theme, a careful, dynamic research emerges right from the start, ready to welcome original interpretations and to create curated contents: such as the project “Ambiziosamente tua – Love and social classes in the fotonovel” curated by Frédérique Deschamps & Paolo Woods in partnership with Fondazione Mondadori, in which the iconic photonovels seem to ideally anticipate the most contemporary influencers with whom they share a judgment of “cultural lightness” that goes beyond the times.
Alongside names of absolute prestige on the international photographic scene including Larry Fink (one of the first photographers to testify through his works the division into classes within society and whose collection of works entitled “Class Issues” will be exhibited) , Massimo Vitali (witness of the excess in tourist consumption of the territories) or Chauncey Care (who denounces the growing domination of workers by multinationals and the elites who run and own them with his “Working Class Heroes”), there are numerous names of authors presenting unpublished works.
To name just a few, the nostalgic “Memory Diamonds” by Reiner Riedler (on the creation of diamonds starting from the ashes of the deceased), the obsessive “Katalog” by Barbara Iweins (who photographs all 12,795 objects in her possession after a move) or the bittersweet “Aka Zidane” by Michaël Zumstein (a series of portraits that immortalize young African men and women wearing the costume of the contemporary hero, i.e. the soccer player: a short circuit between the image of well-being that society teaches us to aspire to and the need to bring home other types of trophies).
Among the Italian authors on display, Marco Tiberio and Maria Ghetti with the “Invisible Cities Calais” project, Marco Zanella with “Scalandrê”, the winning project of the Amilcare G. Ponchielli Prize and Fausto Podavini who, in partnership with Medici Senza Frontiere, presents the “Apnea” project.
Trap and rap music dialogue through two projects, namely “Ultima Chance” by Marco Garofalo which portrays the suburbs of Rome, Milan, Florence, Naples, Paris and London in which trap music plays the role of soundtrack of social urgency and “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” (curated by Lars Lindemann & Paolo Woods), a group show that traces 50 years of rap music through the eyes of many photographers who have followed the birth of this movement and have crystallized its iconography.
«Our aim is to continue that investigation of contemporaryity and of the photographic medium that has characterized the path taken by the festival since the beginning, enriching it with new values and tools. Not only unpublished works that open up extra and meta-photographic perspectives, but also projects that go beyond the main reference medium», declares Veronica Nicolardi, Director of Cortona On The Move: the goal seems to have been fully achieved, thanks also to a series of partnerships and collaborations with important institutions and sponsors and as many specific cultural projects, without losing sight of the value of the image and its centrality in contemporary society.
The historic center of the city, the Medici Fortress of Girifalco and the “Station C” near the Camucia-Cortona station host the exhibitions, bearing witness to the need to take photography out of institutional settings and to revive the territory on which he insists.
Cortona on the Move will open in Cortona on 13 July with a packed program of talks, presentations and portfolio readings and will be open until 1 October. More info about all of the authors at this link.