Giovanni Gastel’s first encounter with photography took place in the 1970s. At that time, photography was considered a legitimate art form and discipline and started to be collected and shown in the world’s museums and galleries. Fashion photography, however, was still considered “practical” and had not garnered much recognition in the world of art. With time, fashion photography gained its artistic status. Fashion photographic images were made in a myriad of contexts and, thus, began to define the photographic canon and grace various art spaces. Gastel’s artistic consecration took place in 1997 when the Triennale di Milano held an exhibition of his works, curated by the contemporary art historian, Germano Celant.
Giovanni Gastel does not believe in the unification of the arts, but describes his photographic work metaphorically, in terms of theatre and literature, emphasising the importance of “creating a scene” and “telling a story” with an image. He also paints the analogy of poetry to photography, which, he posits, consists not of the lyricism of an image but of the succinct and concise structure of form.
“What fascinates me about photography is that it has no relation to reality,” – says Gastel. – “It is the interruption of the constant flow of time. From eternal movement, life, to eternal immobility. It alludes to the real to create a real parallel.”
For Gastel, poems and photographs are a bit like dreams. They carry many meanings and can develop by themselves, without an author, just as the image or subject of a photograph makes itself known on the paper’s surface as it develops. The Metamorphoses series refers to Franz Kafka’s text and therein, yields Gastel’s explicit surrealistic understanding of photography. Viewers of his work can find visual references to the artists who preceded him and were considered surrealists such as Man Ray, Irvin Penn, Erwin Blumenfeld and Guy Burden.
Gastel uses various methods and techniques in his artistic practice, spanning many eras, from the Renaissance to Pop Art. He is aware of the illusiveness of fashion photography and continually reinvents the visual canon by offering viewers different perspectives of the idea of beauty and the ways it’s represented in. His methodology also makes reference to the cinematic experience. In the Ritratti di Living series, commissioned by Elle Decor in 2013, Gastel reproduced Edward Hopper’s works and played with that illusive nature, once again, making viewers of the work mistrust their own eyes.
Gastel works with large format analog cameras to contemporary digital devices. He uses various methods of analog photography such as pictorial rielaboration, decoupling and stratification, and when working with digital images, gives particular attention to post production. Unlike many others seasoned photographers, Gastel considers the invention of digital photographic technology to be the real birth of the medium, suggesting that everything until that point was a “mere archeology.”
Giovanni Gastel (b. 1955) | based in Milan (Italy) | fashion photographer | introduced to the world of art by his famous uncle, Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti | started with wedding and portrait photography, small still-lives and occasionally kids’ fashion photo sessions (the 1970s) | since then, worked for Christie’s Auction House (since 1975) and with Carla Ghiglieri, as his agent who introduced him to the world of fashion (1981) | his photographs have been published by such outlets as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, Donna, Mondo Uomo Glamour, Femme, Amica and Sette, among others, and exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world.
Giovanni Gastel – CANONS OF BEAUTY
@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (3 Bolotnaya emb, bld. 1, Moscow, Russia)
Opening reception: March 15 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between March 16 and May 9, 2017
The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography presents the Victoria Ivleva’s In the Footsteps of ‘The Sacrifice.’ In Memory of Andrey Tarkovsky exhibition. The exhibition is based on photos and interviews made this summer on the Swedish island Gotland, where The Sacrifice, the last Andrey Tarkovsky’s film, was shot 30 years ago.
“Our exhibition is a tribute to one of the greatest directors in the history of Russian cinema 30 years after his death, as well as homage to the Gotlanders who took part in the shooting of the film,” - says Victoria Ivleva.
Three decades after The Sacrifice had received the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, photographer Victoria Ivleva and researcher Ulla Tillgren managed to find the inhabitants of Gotland who worked on the film alongside the film crew and who contributed to the success of the film.
“In Närsholmen we found the place where the famous house in the film stood and the field where the ambulance drivers caught Erland Josephson. We were lucky enough to find the overgrown path that Allan Edwall rode his bicycle on. We saw the place where Sven Nykvist’s camera stood during the first house fire. Most of the people we met had not been there for more than 30 years, and no one had ever asked them about the film the Russian director shot on Gotland. They were all invited to the premier and many thought the film was convoluted and hard to understand. One remembered falling asleep and another one remembered having left the cinema hall. Others loved the dreamy atmosphere of the film. Now, after 30 years, they all wanted to see the film again,” – Ivleva recalls.
Victoria Ivleva | based in Moscow (Russia) | photographer and journalist | studied Journalism at the Moscow State University | has worked in many conflict zones and cooperated with Russian and foreign outlets | winner of the 1992 World Press Photo’s Science & Technology – series category | also won German Gerd Bucerius Prize and Russian Union of Journalists Prize | nominated for Andrei Sakharov’s Prize.
Victoria Ivleva – IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE SACRIFICE. IN MEMORY OF ANDREY TARKOVSKY
@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (Bolotnaya emb. 3, b.1, Moscow, Russia)
The exhibition is open to the public until January 22, 2017
The Victoria Ivleva exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography presents the first complete retrospective of the Soviet photography classic – Yakov Khalip. His name is famous far beyond the Russian museum world and photographic collections. The exhibition of Yakov Khalip’s work, as well as the serious scope of publishing efforts, should have been available in Russia years ago. However, the body of work of one of the Soviet photography classics had remained unstudied for over last 35 years. The Lumière Centre for Photography strives to fill the gap and unveils the archive of the master.
Retrospective exhibition of Yakov Khalip (1908-1980) gives an insight into the evolution of Soviet photography – from the avant-garde 1920s to the stagnant 1970s – through the body of work of one great photographer. The exposition is built around five key milestones:
- Yakov Khalip’s work at Soviet film studios in the company of legendary directors and actors, such as Boris Barnet, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Sergei Eisenstein etc (1927-1930s);
- bold avant-garde experiments together with Alexander Rodchenko and magazine USSR in Construction (1930s);
- heroic series of the Arctic rescue expedition of Ivan Papanin’s team (1938);
- war reports with poet Konstantin Simonov (1941-1945);
- photo stories for major Soviet magazines (1950-1970s).
Apart from Khalip’s well-known classical images, the exhibition features for the first time photographs, shot at the film set of early Soviet films, that have just been attributed. These are: Moscow in October (1927), Forced Labor Camp (1928), Ingenuous Hearts (1928), The Iron Brigade (1930) and Enthusiasts’ Way (1930). The exhibition also includes advertising shoot for the major Soviet tourist agency Intourist, new images of the 1930-1960s. Over 100 vintage and modern prints will present “a master of genre photo-essay with his own style, which combined avant-garde photography and cinematographic trickery.”
The archive of the Khalip family reveals unique artefacts introducing the epoch: documents of the Arctic expedition; original expedition maps; trip permits and assignments; postcards sets of the 1930s; rare books and booklets featuring Khalip’s work; handmade thematic photo albums, created by the photographer and many more.
Presentation of the first photo book of Yakov Khalip and extensive lecture programme are planned within the framework of the exhibition.
CONQUEST. YAKOV KHALIP, HEIR TO THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE
@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (Bolotnaya emb. 3, b.1, Moscow, Russia)
Opening reception: November 2 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between November 3 and December 11, 2016
The Yakov Khalip’s exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Jock Sturges is of one of the most controversial photographers of the last decades known for his series of naturist families primarily taken at communities in France, Northern California and Ireland. Captured with a rare large format camera, his images often refer back to the old masters’ paintings and the classical style photography of the late 19th and early 20th century.
However, the photographer’s initial rise to fame was burdened by controversy. The young age of some of his models drew the attention of a conservative federal task force that raided his studio and seized his files and equipment, later on all his images and equipment were returned and no charges brought. Three years later his work was assailed again by an organised attack by extremist activists from American Christian communities who besieged bookshops aiming to seize and destroy his books. Once again his work was ultimately found to be innocent of all pornographic content or intent.
Indeed, his photographs are devoid of exploitive or negative characteristics. Sturges doesn’t treat the naked body as an abstract form, but engages with his models and aims to capture them when they are most at ease, giving his work a beautiful, unrestrained quality. Sturges is committed to long-term friendships with the families he photographs. The photographer captures his models – girls and young women from nudist communities – in the surroundings that are organic to them. “Nudity means nothing to anybody here… People are naked… because they are naturists and spend their summers in a resort dedicated to the absence of shame.”
Having started in the 1970s, now Sturges is photographing the third generation of his models. “I have many series that are 30 to 35 years old,” he says. He is fascinated with the human body and how it develops from a fat-bellied baby to a delicate child and from there into adolescence and beyond into adulthood. Not just the biological process is an interest of Sturges, the development of the personality is of equal, if not greater, importance to him: “My ambition is that you look at the pictures and realise what complex, fascinating, interesting every single one of my subjects is.”
The exhibition represents around 40 photographs, offering a retrospective view on the work of Jock Sturges from the 1970s up to the recent times.
Jock Sturges (b. 1947) | based in Seattle (WA, USA) | an American photographer known for his large-format portraits of nude adolescents | received a B.A. in Perceptual Psychology and Photography from Marlboro College in Vermont and an M.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute | worked with Richard Benson printing from the negatives of Paul Strand, Eugene Atget, Walker Evans and Gary Winogrand, among others | has more than 10 monographs published | his work has been included in many museum collections around the world (e.g. The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Library in Paris and The Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art).
Jock Sturges – ABSENCE OF SHAME
@ The Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography (Bolotnaya emb. 3, b.1, Moscow, Russia)
Opening: September 8 at 12.00 PM
Artist talk: September 8 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between September 8 and October 30, 2016
The Jock Sturges’ exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography is pleased to invite to the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters exhibition, a photographic collaboration between Chicago photographer Sandro Miller and actor John Malkovich.
In 2013, after having secured his place as one of the top advertising and portrait photographers worldwide, Sandro Miller set out to complete a series that honours the photographs that had inspired and impacted Sandro and became iconic in the history of world photography. The series contains Irving Penn’s portrait of Truman Capote crouched in a corner, Bert Stern’s photographs of Marilyn Monroe, Dorothea Lange’s image of a migrant mother during the Great Depression, Robert Mapplethorpe’s self-portrait with a gun, Annie Leibovitz’s image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono shot for the Rolling Stone magazine, Diane Arbus’ iconic photograph of a boy holding a toy hand grenade and Richard Avedon’s beekeeper, among many others.
This project for Sandro Miller is an attempt to go back and get into the heads of photographers, to explore their technical and emotional ways of working, to understand how a particular photograph was created. For John Malkovich it is another opportunity to show the stagecraft and capacity for any transformation of his face and body; an opportunity to “get inside the frame” and to tell viewers a story in one single image. This project involves the viewer into a situation between the real and the imaginary, exploring the power of an image and the photography’s ability to change our memory and perception.
The exhibition also features works from the most recent project released this year – The Malkovich Sessions – the product of a unique, years-long artistic collaboration between two stars – and short films, which have become the natural progression for their work and have gained international recognition. The Malkovich Sessions, accompanied by a book (Glitterati, 2016), represents a profound meeting of the minds.
Sandro Miller (b. 1958) | based in Chicago (IL, USA) | a commercial photographer, also willingly doing artistic projects | known for frequent changing styles and searching for inspiration in history of photography | has been photographing people for over 30 years | his pictures have been internationally published and exhibited | winner of many prestigious awards, including the Lucie Foundation’s International Photographer of the Year (2014 and 2015) | recognised as one of the top 200 advertising photographers in the world.
Sandro Miller – MALKOVICH, MALKOVICH, MALKOVICH: HOMAGE TO PHOTOGRAPHIC MASTERS
@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (3 Bolotnaya Emb., Building 1, Moscow, Russia)
The exhibition is open to the public until August 28, 2016
Viktor Kolář is one of the most important Czech photographers of the second half of the 20th century. The exhibition includes around 60 silver gelatin prints from his Ostrava and Canada series.
“There is nothing more surreal than reality itself” – this quote by Brassaï helps to discern a multitude of meanings in Viktor Kolář’s work inspired by the environment of postwar Ostrava, where the communist present, with its double identity, withstood German occupation, the short-lived Czech Republic and Habsburg empire. Viktor Kolář has been photographing Ostrava for over 50 years.
His work experience at Vitkovice Steel Works, the ancient mill in the former industrial centre of the Czech Republic, largely influenced his photography. Viktor Kolář says, “The pain and misery some of us go through can often result in creating the best photographs. It is when things are hard, I believe, that we may see what appears invisible, or appreciate the potential of a subject that looks ordinary.”
Photography of Viktor Kolář bears similarities to works of the previous generations of Czech photographers. His talent of capturing the atmosphere of space and the fragility of the unrepeatable moment recall photographs of the interiors of St. Vitus Cathedral from the 1920s by Josef Sudek, “emotive photography” from the 1930s by Jaromír Funke, documentation of the perversity of meaning under state control on the streets of Prague from the1950s-60s by a Czech surrealist Emila Medková.
Viktor Kolář combines intellectual contemplation of and empathy toward his subjects. Psychological dynamics was central to his work produced in Canada and the USA from 1968 to 1973 where he shot in public places and in the streets of Hamilton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and New York City and continued to capture it after his return to Ostrava. His photographs of the streets of Ostrava in the 1970s-80s reveal the psychological state of people in front of his lens and at the same time bring viewers in contact with the atmosphere of the time formed by the imposed rules of the communist state, destruction of values, loss of the utopia and anticipation of change. In his photographs of the independent Czech Republic, the symbols of a new capitalist society – shopping malls, cheep markets, ubiquitous advertising – contrast with the residents of Ostrava unfamiliar with market economy. Contradictory motifs of this later work trace back to Kolář’s early photographs and derive from his aspiration to embrace all of the multifaceted reality of the city. Kolář says about these photographs: “I have to be as realistic about the new order as I was about the old one. Sentimentality will not save us.”
Viktor Kolář (b. 1941) | based in Ostrava (the Czech Republic) | began to photograph at 13 and had his first exhibition at a local museum when 23 | fled to Canada after the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops in 1968 and returned under the amnesty for Czech immigrants five years later | a winner of the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography award (1991) | has exhibited his works at solo and group exhibitions in France, Germany, Greece, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and in the USA, among others | his works are included in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, International Centre of Photography in New York City, Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, Musée de l’Elysee pour la Photographie in Lausanne and Museum Ludwig in Köln.
Viktor Kolář – VISIONS OF VIKTOR KOLář. CZECH PHOTO
@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (3 Bolotnaya Emb., Building 1, Moscow, Russia)
Grand opening: June 15, 2016
The exhibition will be open to the public until September 25, 2016
Soviet Photo magazine was the most popular periodical on photography in the USSR. During its lifetime (1926-1997) the magazine witnessed all key figures of the photographic life of the country. Despite governmental control over the magazine, it managed to become a flexible enough and virtually single platform for thorough discussion of photography, held by key art historians, critics, professional and amateurs photographers from all over the union.
After the logic of the magazine, the exhibition focuses on the history and convergence of photo reportage and amateur photography. Photo reportage section features seminal and rare prints of the leading Russian photographers from the collection of The Lumiere Centre. Marking as well the upcoming 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the exhibition features war photography that was repeatedly printed in the magazine and became classic war photography images.
The exhibition invites to engage into the discussion on Soviet and Russian photography of the 1920s-1990s, to gain insight into aesthetic and subject-related diversity of photography of the time, which in an extraordinary manner manifested itself through the magazine. The exhibition features vintage photographs from The Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography collection, photographs from private collections, magazine covers and key editorials.
The Soviet Photo exhibition celebrates the 5th anniversary of The Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography.
The Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography (Bolotnaya emb. 3, b.1, Moscow, Russia). Grand opening on May 13 at 7:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public between May 14 and September 6, 2015.
The Soviet Photo exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.