Marina Ballo Charmet, Gabriele Basilico
The exhibition is a homage to Piazza Duomo and its central position in the collective imagination of the city, portrayed from two different angles by two photographers with two different intentions and photographic styles: in the shots taken from above, Gabriele Basilico focuses on the grandeur and complexity of the setting, while Marina Ballo Charmet depicts the square from ground level, placing the accent on the peripheral, unfamiliar detail.
Piazza Duomo is intimately linked to the Museo del Novecento, not only as a result of its location in Palazzo dell’Arengario, but also because it is an integral part of the exhibition route designed by the architect Italo Rota: the large windows of the most iconic exhibition room in the Museum - hosting two magnificent works by Lucio Fontana (the Neon structure crafted for the 9th Triennale of Milan in 1951, and the Spatial Ceiling from 1956) - look directly onto the Piazza, thus forming a dynamic installation that constantly engages with the life and the heart of the city.
The exhibition is composed of a core of images by Gabriele Basilico and two videos accompanied by a series of photographic sequences by Marina Ballo Charmet. Basilico’s large black and white shots, taken in 2011 for the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, accompany the observer on a journey that takes in the spires of Milan’s Cathedral, the Piazza and the surrounding buildings. These photographs are complemented by the vision proposed by Marina Ballo Charmet in a video created with a fixed camera used to take shots of the Cathedral in real time as night turns to day, illustrating the awakening of the city as it gradually comes to life with the earliest figures starting to fill up the square.
A second video takes the observer on a trip around the rectangular perimeter of the Piazza, filmed using a shift from the habitual viewpoint, achieved by positioning the camera at hip height, thus turning the lens into an eye-body able to offer a peripheral, lateral view, as if the lens were operating independently, taking the shots on its own. This second sequence of photographs thus also depicts the shift from the darkness of night through to the light of day, taken in reverse compared to the first video.
This exhibition is the realization of an idea, a project, a shared dream that first emerged in 2010 during the conversations of Gabriele Basilico and Marina Ballo Charmet with Marco Belpoliti, whose common intent was to bring their different visions of photography into relation with one another to create a complementary whole.