OfficinARS Photography – During and After: Resilience, EUROPEAN PHOTOGRAPHY – Reggio Emilia – OFF Circuit.

Villa Sistemi Reggiana, Reggio Emilia.

April 7, 2019-May 4, 2021.

The Villa Sistemi Reggiana Association presents “OfficinARS Photography – During and After: Resilience” at its headquarters at 18 Via Montagnani Marelli in Reggio Emilia.
Photographic exhibition with works by Cecilia Del Gatto, Francesca Giannelli, Giulia Lazzaron, Isabella Quaranta, Jessica Raimondi.
The exhibition is included in the Off circuit of “European Photography”
“White Lies “by Cecilia Del Gatto, was also selected as the official image of the 300 exhibitions related to the OFF Circuit and was therefore used as the guidebook cover and poster image.
Crucial step of any transition, system, method, approach, cause and effect process, synthesis of the past and landing in the future: Resilience.
The Villa Sistemi Reggiana Association presents “OfficinARS Photography – During and After: Resilience,” a group exhibition featuring photographic works by Cecilia Del Gatto, Francesca Giannelli, Giulia Lazzaron, Isabella Quaranta, and Jessica Raimondi, winners of the competition of the same name, from April 7 to May 4, 2019, at its headquarters at 18 Via Montagnani Marelli in Reggio Emilia.
Included in the Off circuit of “European Photography,” the exhibition brings together a selection of works that
address the theme of “resilience” from different points of view, yet united by a keen sensitivity to the relationships between inner worlds, personal identities and human relationships.
Now in its fourth year, the OfficinARS Prize draws its inspiration from the history of the building that houses it – a 19th-century school reserved for poor girls – to identify and promote emerging artists working in the country. The activities of the Villa Sistemi Reggiana Association, chaired by Maria-Teresa Crispo, also tend to establish a link between art and solidarity, supporting an association that runs an orphanage in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.
The exhibition “OfficinARS Photography – During and After: Resilience” is the outcome of a free-access competition in which photographers between the ages of 20 and 40 participated. The jury, composed of Daniele De Luigi (curator of photography and contemporary art), Francesca Baboni (art critic, curator) and Francesco Criscuolo (Villa Sistemi Reggiana), selected the five winners, whose works were included in Villa Sistemi Reggiana’s annual catalog.

“Cecilia Del Gatto,” writes Daniele De Luigi, “constructs her own images: clear shots, pleasant colors, bodies portrayed in sculptural poses performing simple gestures. The faces, however, are wrapped in a network of colored threads that blindfolds them completely, making them anonymous mannequins. If the effect is that of highly ironic and playful photographs, however, a biting reflection emerges on the increasing difficulties of asserting an identity in relationships with others.
Francesca Giannelli with “Newborders” takes us inside a deeply intimate space to tell a difficult personal story, one that has seen her face treatment to overcome an illness. Overlaying cold diagnostic images with proud and palpitating self-portraits, the photographer calls us to share her journey of suffering, which she nevertheless transforms into a journey to self-knowledge, to the discovery of her own body and identity, whose boundaries are suddenly challenged.
Giulia Lazzaron moves on the border between artistic mediums by experimenting with the fusion of graphics and photography. To the former she entrusts the creation of organic forms from a dreamlike imagery rich in symbols that draws on an inner world, made with the engraving technique. Photography constitutes the scenario in which these elements move, however, reversing the traditional function of the two tools: while the forms acquire a strange real consistency, the photographic image seems to designate an unreal environment.
Isabella Quaranta’s images, persuasive and dreamlike in flavor, feed on sources of inspiration ranging from symbolist painting to theater and fashion photography. However, the brown, delicate chromatics and the blurring effects let a strong charge of vital energy seep through, of which the female figures, who are the protagonists of the images, are the bearers. Projections of intimate life, of dreams and fears, take shape in visions of suspended bodies, mysterious places and enigmatic presences that the eye and imagination of the viewer is invited to decipher. Jessica Raimondi’s series of images deal with the theme of the void left by a father figure never known, and how it forever reverberates on the question of identity. The photographs, insignificant details of human bodies, domestic objects, marks on materials, construct a fragmentary, unresolved narrative, from which it is impossible to escape except by grasping the subtle metaphors that are delicately scattered therein and refer to a perpetually unsatisfied search for wholeness, memories, perhaps even wounds.”
The exhibition, organized under the patronage of the Municipality and Province of Reggio Emilia, in collaboration with the Ugo Guidi Museum of Forte dei Marmi (LU), will open Sunday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m. with a wine tasting offered by the Cantina Sociale di San Martino in Rio. The venue at Villa Sistemi Reggiana will be accessible Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A catalog covering the 2018-19 activity with texts by Francesca Baboni and Daniele De Luigi will be presented during the exhibition.

Finissage: Saturday, May 4, 2019, 6:30 pm. Free admission.
For information and updates: tel. 0522 272405,

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Cecilia Del Gatto will receive in 2023 as a prize a period of residence in the “House of Artists” in Milan to continue her activity.

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