PhotoLux Festival 2022, Baluardo San Colombano by Luciano Uggè

We went – he told Inthenet – at the Bastioni di San Colombano and resume our visit from the Palazzo Guinigi to the different exhibition spaces of the Photolux Festival, divided between historic houses and public buildings in the center of Lucca.

Here is a very interesting solo exhibition, Face to face of Seiichi Furuya, who documented his seven-year relationship with Christine Gössler, until the suicide of his wife in 1985 — moments of intimacy and intense close-ups of a brief journey of life together in which they make plans and poses of the model and photographer they put on. in dialogue more than two bodies, two contrasting visions of the same experiences. Clothes, fabrics and shapes, friendships, relationships, home furniture that seem to come straight from a family album – faded memories of a historical period sinking before an infinitely sad look. The sinking into psychosis, losing oneself and others, even the small gesture that becomes an unbearable burden and the legacy that remains for those who have loved and lost. Anger, guilt, doubts: what is left for someone who has seen the person with whom he intended to share an entire existence commit suicide? Perhaps the only answer is given by Furuya himself: “The ability to forget is fundamental to human life“Staying tied to a dead person is dying to oneself. Silent homage more to life than to one’s memory. Then the story of Pixy Liao telling his relationship with his Moorish partner, through images and a form of Esperanto invented by the couple – a curious and long-term experiment that talks about a playful household also played with the linguistic differences of a Chinese girl and a Japanese boy who meet on the battlefield of common English, a language that neither of them fully masters and that does not even fully represent their cultures of origin. Lost in translation.

At the Palau Ducal, the next step is to go up to the second floor: here are some personal exhibitions of photographers from around the world. The Japanese Rinko Kawauchi presents us with a series of family slides: births, lunches, weddings, tables, moments of prayer, photos by mistake, old images of black and white albums, landscapes seen from a window, a room of hospital or a cemetery. , skewed shots, overexposed images. Truth or self-fiction? The viewer can choose the reading that suits him. Japanese Masahisa Fukase also plays with a good dose of self-irony, always the size of the family portrait, with a series of blacks and whites with a destabilizing figure. Equally, in fact, much more hilarious is Mike Bender’s idea to create a space to share embarrassing family photos.

The portraits of the Simulated family relationships by Senil Gupta (1988), portraying multiethnic (and not multiracial) LGBT couples as in the legend set forth. From the same period (80s) the black and white series by Sage Sohier that documents the life -between domestic interiors and affectionate gestures- of same-sex couples in States. On the contrary, Robin Schwartz’s project is a bit obvious, Amelia and the animals – photos of a blue-eyed girl who interacts, sometimes with irony, with the animal world. Some photos are certainly captivating, maybe too much. The interspecies discourse, on the other hand, is sick of fashion. The energetic irony that elapsed in an Elliott Erwitt has here a taste of desired bitterness. Poses -more than photos- that transform a girl into a model over the course of twenty years and an involuntary reference to the smallpox of the monkey. Annie Hsiao-Ching Wang’s multi-year black and white project is dedicated to her role as a mother / artist (creator of the child and the image) and her own child. Partly self-congratulatory, he curiously refers to the self-portrait of Velázquez present in him Las Meninas. In the exhibition, there are also videos and sound installations on the border between expressive languages. And again, a series of autochromes from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which are not exhibited, however, but are simple reproductions projected on video with background music. Scenography, but the beauty and uniqueness of the support that is it has been lost medium essential expressiveness: how to see the poster of a painting. On the contrary, the black and white photos of Ferdinando Scianna dedicated to Religious festivals in Sicily, and published in the book of the same name by Leonardo Sciascia. Rituals, customs, faces, lost traditions and that, for a moment, return vibrant to life.

In the last room, the video projection of the series of finalist photographers deserves special mention Pictet Awards 2021. Fire is the theme chosen for this edition. We inform you of some of the artists that most impressed us. Beirut my love by Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige seems to come out of an extravagant colorful postcard from the 60s until the postcard lights up, pulverizing in our hands. Black water of Sally Mann (winning project) has the strength and beauty of funeral images The Fall of the Usher House by Jean Epstein. Fire of Christian Marclay seems a reinterpretation ofShout out of Munch shouting from the walls of our metropolises. The striking black Africa is the protagonist of the strongly hopperian photos of Fabrice Monteiro and his series, Work Corps. Burns world capital finally, by Brent Stirton, he explains the drama of the victims of burns in India in deliberately aesthetic and at the same time emotionally atrocious images (displacing the fact that the series, more thematically focused and of very high photographic quality, did not win) .

The last stop on our trip are the ducal stables. Entering the courtyard, on the right, is the project of Erik Kessels who goes back to a quiet middle-class couple who, over the course of ten years, have reinterpreted eroticism in their living room. be. Definitely an autochthonous vintage kitsch. The original living room is also on display. In the center of the courtyard, Who am I to judge?, which tells the story of Italian LGBTQ + Italian groups since the late 1970s. Finally, always passing through the courtyard, on the left, two projects that are to some extent reflected. The work of Marta Bogdańska that highlights the discrepancies between the secular image and liberal Sweden and its reality, which saw a gradual return to the values ​​of the traditional family, in the 90s, and today is witnessing a regurgitation of these same values ​​by the right, well rooted in the country. All this is filtered by the reinterpretation of the image of the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1909, Selma Lagerlöf. Then Marco Tiberio shows with Expand Magazine -in a real and metaphorical sense- the phallocentrism of ‘toxic masculinity’, one that then generates non-acceptance or even violence against anything that can challenge domination. sexist – from the figure of the determined woman to the masculine sensitivity for homosexuality. How distant seem the times described by Tiberius, who recalls how, in the ancient Greek world, “the smaller the penis, the closer the man of divine power was“.

Unfortunately, the fact that most of the exhibitions, from Monday to Thursday, are only open from 3pm to 7.30pm, prevented us from seeing Stefano De Luigi’s personal exhibition at Casermetta San Pietro. Pornoland Redux.

Photo: © Pixy Liao, 2013, Things we talk aboutof the series Dictionary Pimo (photo courtesy of the CLP Public Relations press office or CLIP press release).

PhotoLux 2022
from Saturday 21 May to Sunday 12 June 2022
Lucca, several locations

Villa Bottini
via Elisa, 9
every day, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Ducal stables
Plaza San Romano, 4
Monday to Thursday, 3pm to 7.30pm; from Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Ducal Palace
Pati de Carrara 1
Monday to Thursday, 3pm to 7.30pm; from Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Barracks of Sant Pere
via delle Mura Urbane
Monday to Thursday, 3pm to 7.30pm; from Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Palau Guinigi
via Sant’Andrea, 43
Monday to Thursday, 3pm to 7.30pm; from Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Basement of the Baluard de San Colombano
Corso Garibaldi, 39
Monday to Thursday, 3pm to 7.30pm; from Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.


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