On 19 January, a new Letizia Battaglia exhibition began at Granai di Villa Mimbelli, Livorno. It will run unitl 15 March 2019.
Battaglia, who published her major collection ANTHOLOGY with Drago, is one of the most important figures worldwide in contemporary photography. In 2017 she was named one of the 11 Most Powerful Women in the world by the NY Times. At the inauguration of the exhibition on Saturday 19 January, she was made an honorary citizen of Livorno by the mayor Filippo Nogarin.
At the opening, the 83-year-old Battaglia was moved by her reception. “It makes me cry,” she explains. “Your affection. Here I feel welcomed, I feel protected. You put my photographs in a beautiful space and I thank you. I want to dedicate honorary citizenship to my mayor, the mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando. I met him when he was young and now he is an adult and very tired”.
This exhibition, promoted by the Carlo Laviosa Foundation and created in collaboration with the Municipality of Livorno, brings together fifty photographs: historical documents that show the face of an Italy in transformation. The curator of the exhibition, Serafino Fasulo, explains that the route “does not follow a chronological or thematic trend but tries to find a common thread between the atrocious and the beautiful as traces of archetypes that drive human actions”. He continues: “the work of Letizia Battaglia, an 83-year-old woman, has often been labelled solely as a comment on the Mafia murders but this is reductive. They also enrich us with her incessant search for beauty and dignity: her photos give back the pathos of Greek tragedies, the pain and the sublime.”
Letizia Battaglia has always expressed herself using the severity of black and white. She does not like colour. “Even today, just thinking about the red of the blood makes me sick. I think that black and white is more silent, solemn, and respectful. Even when I look at the photographs of others, I look for black and white. It’s an artistic taste.”
Letizia Battaglia – the catalog accompanying the event – contains critical essays by Andrea Dall’Asta SJ, Director of the Galleria San Fedele in Milan, by Paola Tognon, Scientific Director of the Civic Museums in Livorno, and by Serafino Fasulo, Artistic Director of the Carlo Laviosa Foundation.