Salgemma: a photographic (and other) guide to Puglia

Salgemma: a photographic (and other) guide to Puglia

Laura Tota · 11 months ago · Photography

L’identità di un territorio si costruisce nel tempo attraverso la sedimentazione di narrazioni più o meno coerenti che ne determinano la percezione da parte di realtà altre. A volte, tali narrazioni diventano talmente dominanti da soffocare qualsivoglia altra lettura di quel territorio, delineandone una visione piatta e monolitica. In tal senso, un caso perfetto è costituito dalla Puglia, regione spesso associata ad aforismi vari e luoghi comuni sviluppati nel tempo per incoraggiare un turismo da cartolina che non solo ne depaupera violentemente le risorse, ma ne limita la fruizione turistica per lo più a pochi mesi estivi. 

Eppure, chi vive in questa terra, sa che la Puglia è molto di più e che al suo interno viaggiano, si intrecciano e pulsano istanze divergenti, ricche di suggestioni e traiettorie inaspettate, quali per esempio quelle legate al settore delle produzioni culturali. “Salgemma Magazine Issue 01 – Contemporary Art and Culture in Apulia” è un magazine curato, felice e di buone speranze creato con dedizione e attenzione da Salgemma, progetto di comunicazione e di editoria dedicato alle arti contemporanee in Puglia, nato nel 2020 da un’idea delle curatrici Roberta Mansueto e Rosita Ronzini per valorizzare il panorama artistico e culturale del territorio pugliese oltre i confini regionali.

Il primo numero di questo esperimento editoriale è un’ibridazione riuscita tra una guida e un photo book in cui approfondimenti testuali, sapienti interventi grafici (a cura di Hipgnosis Reborn) e fotografia dialogano su carta per restituire un’esplorazione (non-esaustiva) della geografia artistica e culturale contemporanea del territorio pugliese. La restituzione visuale dell’indagine si avvale del medium fotografico, affidandone la ricerca a Sara Scanderebech, autrice di origini pugliesi.
Il progetto di fare un magazine – raccontano le due curatrici – è da sempre una passione: seguiamo fiere di editoria e di auto-produzioni indipendenti da diversi anni. Per noi il formato del magazine diventa un nuovo modo di raccontare la mappatura online che portiamo avanti, veicolata con una diversa distribuzione e pubblico di appassionati dei mag: il nostro è più un esercizio di scrittura che rimane documentativo, ma anche speculativo – questa volta su carta – fissando una sorta di rotta di tendenza del contemporaneo e della produzione culturale di un territorio. Nostro ulteriore obiettivo è dopo aver messo in relazione queste identità progettuali è quello di poter lavorare su possibili azioni condivise, progetti collettivi da strutturare insieme”.

Così, la narrazione tra centro e periferia si connota come un viaggio on the road in cui curatrici e fotografa incontrano fisicamente le persone che si occupano di arte e cultura in Puglia, raccontandone le realtà e le esperienze: un’indagine che si pone in linea di continuità con l’intento di Salgemma di mappare i luoghi dell’arte contemporanea in Puglia e che ne avvalora la validità attraverso un medium tangibile e materico.
Per ogni realtà incontrata, interviste e fotografie sono accompagnate da tempi di percorrenza, mezzi e kilometri percorsi, cercando di superare le criticità della mobilità pubblica e accompagnando i lettori con una guida pratica, capace di raccontare anche la morfologia del territorio e dei suoi paesaggi urbani e naturali. Intelligente ed efficace risulta in particolare modo la produzione di Sara Scanderebech, fotografa di moda avvezza ai set in studio, che per quest’occasione non solo torna nella sua terra natia, ma si mette in gioco con una ricerca più impulsiva e improvvisata, senza rinunciare all’estetica del mondo fashion e all’attenzione per il dettaglio, punti fermi della sua ricerca: anche in questo caso, l’idea è stata quella di intraprendere una narrazione divergente rispetto a quella che negli ultimi anni si è delineata attraverso una street photography autoriale ben precisa, ma ormai ridondante e autoreferenziale.

La necessità estetica di lavorare sui dettagli permette a Sara di avvicinarsi (non solo fisicamente) alla realtà, trasformando il particolare in una sineddoche, capace di restituire la potenza del contesto, di catturarne la luce e di rendere visibile l’invisibile, di evidenziare la ricorrenza di una solo apparente casualità grafica presente nel mondo, di sollevare domande in merito a quanto osservato.
Questo progetto – racconta Sara Scanderebech – fa parte di un percorso di riavvicinamento alla mia terra innescato qualche anno fa grazie ad una mail di Rosita in cui mi chiedeva un’intervista per la piattaforma Salgemma. In quel momento è cambiato qualcosa ed ho pensato che dovessi far pace con il mio posto d’origine che non avevo percepito accogliente dal lato professionale e artistico.
Dopo tanti anni a Milano, quel sentimento di rigetto che nutrivo verso la Puglia si è trasformato in una sorta di saudade e attrazione per la mia terra: da un lato sono veramente fiduciosa e felice di aver visto un futuro nei progetti e nelle realtà che ho scoperto durante la mappatura, dall’altro c’è la paura che quell’immobilità caratteristica di questi luoghi alla fine abbia la meglio. Ad ogni modo, spero che il mio sguardo porti chi sfoglierà la rivista ad aver voglia di visitare questi luoghi e lavorare con queste realtà
”. “Salgemma Magazine Issue 01 – Contemporary Art and Culture in Apulia” è acquistabile in pre order al link.

Salgemma | Collater.al
Salgemma: a photographic (and other) guide to Puglia
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Salgemma: a photographic (and other) guide to Puglia
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Has food truly conquered us?

Has food truly conquered us?

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

Over the past year, the internet seems to be obsessed with food culture, fueling a trend that is now evident even in the world of visual culture. From the Tomato Girl Summer, which many mock retrospectively, to the foodie fashion girlies, Balenciaga’s collaboration with Erewhon, and the massive success of The Bear. Food appears to be experiencing a rebirth, but in the worlds of art, photography, and design, it has always been present. Is this just a passing trend, or is it the glorification of an element that has always been part of our lives?

Un’illustrazione di Maisy Summer

From Tomato Girl Summer to the pomegranate

It was only in 2020, with lockdown recipes—does anyone remember Dalgona Coffe?—that so much talk about food emerged. On TikTok, @wishbonekitchen made us dream by showing us her life as a private chef in the Hamptons this summer. Unforgettable were her Heirloom Tomato Gallette and the garden where she harvested fruits, vegetables, and herbs. In 2023, it seems to have been the summer of food not only with the release of the second season of The Bear but also with Tomato Girl Summer. On the other hand, according to Danielle Cohen on The Cut, it now seems to be the time of the pomegranate.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Cansu Porsuk Rossi (@cansupo)

Thanks to its shape and the vivid red that characterizes it, this fruit is widely recognized as a symbol of fertility in many parts of the world. But not only that, we find the pomegranate in mythology, art history, and, according to Cohen, even in the Torah. In short, fruits and vegetables seem to be largely protagonists of this rebirth, so we have collected some works and photographs by artists and photographers we have talked about in the past and more.

Browsing through our archives, we remembered Michael Crichton‘s photos and his photographic series, Conceptual Food, as well as Dan Bannino, who many years ago narrated the eating habits of the powerful. But there is also Stephanie Sarley, an artist who, with fruit fingering, challenged the way the art world has represented the female reproductive organ throughout its history.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Stephanie Sarley (@stephanie_sarley)

Why it seems not to be just a passing trend

The success of food in visual culture can be attributed to its tangible communicative power. We see and experience the colors and textures of food daily, all evocative elements of memories that we have been collecting forever. In conclusion, we can only wonder which will be the next fruit to receive all this attention, already dedicated to tomatoes and pomegranates, even before avocados and bananas.

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Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Anna Frattini · 1 month ago · Photography

29 ARTS IN PROGRESS recently showcased Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion, a photographic exhibition dedicated to the Franco-Algerian photographer, marking his first solo exhibition in Milan. Starting from January 16, the second chapter of this exhibition opens, featuring unconventional shots infused with a street and urban soul. Additionally, there are elements of irony and sensuality that highlight Haddi’s complex personality.

michel haddi
© Michel Haddi – Debbie Harry, British Vogue, London, 1994 | Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery

In this second chapter, nude shots and unpublished works by Michel Haddi are presented, stemming from advertising campaigns he personally captured. The displayed photographs capture the spirit of their time, thanks to influential figures such as John Galliano or Patsy Kensit, who have played pivotal roles in the realms of fashion, cinema, and music.

Michel Haddi has the ability to portray his subjects with both irony and depth, and each of his shots tells a unique story. His life, marked by a turbulent start, has nevertheless propelled him to become one of the leading fashion photographers from the 1990s to the present day.

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Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
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Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Collater.al Contributors · 1 month ago · Photography

A few weeks ago, the Huxley-Parlour gallery in London announced the new exhibition by Joel Meyerowitz, which opened on January 17th. We couldn’t help but talk about him, the American photographer born in New York in 1938, famous for his street photography, and recognized as one of the pioneers of color photography. The London exhibition, titled “Dialogues,” highlights this aspect effectively. Pairs of photographs engage in a dialogue concerning light, color, and composition. The pairings are chosen to investigate the development of color in the artist’s work, set within non-hierarchical and unresolved compositions.

The exhibition in London

Meyerowitz’s imagery blends a distinctly American aesthetic with a meditative approach to color. Spanning from 1964 to 2011, the exhibition at Huxley-Parlour reveals Meyerowitz’s enduring interest in the sensory and evocative experiences of his surroundings. Paired with lesser-known images from the artist’s extensive archive, the exhibition features some of Meyerowitz’s most famous works, including his early street photography and images from his seminal series, Cape Light.

Joel Meyerowitz and the Color Revolution

Joel Meyerowitz is widely acknowledged as one of the first photographers, along with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, to bring color photography from the periphery to the center of fine art photography. Historically, where black and white photography was considered a serious medium, color was widely viewed as technically inferior and aesthetically limited, relegated to advertising campaigns, television, and personal holiday photographs. In the London exhibition, it’s interesting to trace Meyerowitz’s shift from black and white to color. On display are works from “A Question of Color,” where Meyerowitz, carrying two cameras, paired black-and-white and color prints of nearly identical scenes.

Courtesy Joel Meyerowitz

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Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
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A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

Not even a week ago, Alessia Glaviano – Head of Global PhotoVogue – a guest on our Spigola podcast, reminded us that it no longer matters whether you shoot with a camera or a smartphone. What matters is the intention behind the shot, not the means. We pondered deeply on this statement, and although there was initially some skepticism, we concluded that to take a true stance on the matter, we had to try it ourselves: capturing moments solely with a smartphone, but with the same attitude we would have had with a professional camera. Xiaomi provided us with the opportunity and the means.

Almost by chance, Xiaomi presented us with a challenge: to visit a distant place and attempt to capture its uniqueness using the brand-new Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G. And so began our journey, short but very intense, in Bangkok.

All the promises of this new device – which, along with four others, forms the new Redmi Note 13 Series, further enriching the brand’s Redmi Note lineup – were substantial. Starting from the battery, rechargeable to 100% in just 19 minutes with a lasting capacity of days (not hours), and of course, the camera system consisting of 3 cameras, including a main 200 MP camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera, and a macro camera.

We decided to put Xiaomi to the test in every moment spent in the Thai capital. The first stop was at the Royal Palace and the Wat Pho temple, where the goal was to capture the colors of the mosaics and decorations.

Xiaomi

Being one of the most touristy places in the city, we encountered many people who, like us, were fascinated by the architecture of these sacred places. The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G came to our aid in this moment as well. The smartphone is equipped with AI-based editing tools that, among other things, allow us to remove people who accidentally end up in our shots. You know those photos you see on Instagram of tourist spots always empty? Now you can have them too, effortlessly!

But a city is not only visited during the day; often, it comes to life at night, illuminated by a myriad of different lights. In our case, the lights were those of the legendary tuk-tuks, indispensable in a trip to Bangkok. In this case, the challenge was formidable: darkness, colored lights, movement. All the ingredients for a challenging shot were present.

Xiaomi

Not content with just the shot, we continued to play with AI tools and added a bit more movement, some stars, many stars.

When traveling, we know very well that we are not only captivated by architecture, landscape, and glimpses, but we also focus on the faces we encounter on the streets. However, we often don’t have much time to photograph them, sometimes because they move, other times because we are the ones on the move. That’s exactly what happened to us in the characteristic Thai markets, first and foremost the Floating Market.

Reviewing the photos on the return flight and at home with friends was like reliving the journey once again, leaving no detail behind.

Xiaomi

In Bangkok, on the occasion of the launch of the new Redmi Note 13 Series, the brand also introduced the brand-new Redmi Watch 4 and Redmi Buds 5 Pro. Visit Xiaomi’s website to discover all the features of these devices.

Xiaomi

Photos shot on Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G

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A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
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