ACACIA Prize awarded to Ms. Linda Fregni Nagler
Concurrently with MIART and the Contemporary Art Week promoted by the City of Milan Department of Culture, the Museo del Novecento presents INVITO, devoted to the artist who was recently awarded the ACACIA Prize by the Friends of Italian Contemporary Art Association.
The protagonist of the 2016 Prize, which has now reached its thirteenth edition, is Ms. Linda Fregni Nagler (Stockholm, 1976) and her triptych of photographs “John”, “We love you!”, “Man on the Ledge”, “I’ll Figure this Thing Out Myself” (2014), which thus becomes part of the ACACIA collection and the Museo del Novecento heritage. Following the important donation, in 2015, of the ACACIA collection to the Museo del Novecento, INVITO 2016 further strengthens the bond that ties the Association with one of the most important Italian museums.
The work of Ms. Linda Fregni Nagler stems from an in-depth research of vintage photographs, selected and collected by the artist with the ultimate goal of analysing the relationships between photographic image, society, and culture. The originals, retrieved from the vast journalistic archives of the 20th century, have been re-photographed and enlarged in the dark room. The subjects are figures that are about to jump or are suspended in precarious balance. The choice of this theme is a way of approaching the ambiguous nature of documentary photography. The images show a suspended moment, but tell us nothing about the fate of the photographed subject. The protagonists, trapped in the 1/30th of a second of a shot, remain poetically dangling between the sky and earth. Through an enlargement procedure, the artist brings out the many manual touch-ups on the surface of the original prints made by newspapers editors to improve contrast and make the images more legible once printed. These "editorial corrections” become real pictorial signs in Ms. Fregni Nagler’s work. On display is also the sculpture “Untitled (Propeller II)” (2014), based on images of models of machines designed to control the flight of an aerostat, built for Nadar by Gustave de Ponton d'Amécourt. This work is also a meditation on the limits of photography: the subject, closed inside the four sides of the frame, is visible from a single viewpoint, which conceals as much as it reveals. Ms. Fregni Nagler’s triptych is on display along with works by Mario Airò, Rosa Barba, Gianni Caravaggio, Maurizio Cattelan, Roberto Cuoghi, Lara Favaretto, Francesco Gennari, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Marzia Migliora, Adrian Paci, Paola Pivi, Luca Trevisani, Grazia Toderi, Marcella Vanzo, Nico Vascellari, Francesco Vezzoli, Tatiana Trouvé, which make up the ACACIA collection.