Paola De Pietri

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Portraits at Malpensa Airport

06/10 – 05/11/2017

The photographs by Paola De Pietri (Reggio Emilia, 1960) reflect on man’s relationship with space and the passing of time. As well as being an attentive observer of the landscape, be it urban or natural, the artist explores human subjects and their individuality. The images in succession that make up her series are silent reflections in a conceptual vein, where landscape and the human element interface, interact and highlight one or the other.

The series Portraits at Malpensa Airport comprises nine portraits taken in Milan’s Malpensa airport in 2002. The frontal, full-length portraits, shot against an anonymous background which is the same for all of them, create a suspension, a pause, almost a moment of contemplation which sheds light on the individual’s identity and story. Each of the travellers was asked not only for his or her name, but also to list those of all the ancestors he or she could remember. The names are presented in the form of a stylised family tree at the top of the white frame of the photograph. A memory exercise regarding personal history, it raises the issue of our biological and cultural legacy.

Paola De Pietri’s exhibition is part of the Level 0 project in collaboration with ArtVerona, Verona’s fair of modern and contemporary art.


Foto: Paola De Pietri, Portraits Malpensa Airport, 2002. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Alberto Peola, Turin.