UNDER A SPELL - Heinz Schattner
VERNISSAGE Thursday 21 September h. 6.30pm
ON EXHIBITION from 22 September to 21 October 2023 from Tuesday to Saturday h. 4pm -7pm
Art and fashion have often followed parallel paths, sometimes meeting but, certainly more often, they have been able to draw inspiration from each other.
The 16 imaginative and powerful shots of Mali that Heinz Schattner - internationally renowned photographer - presents at Manifesto Blanco in his solo exhibition curated by Massimiliano Bisazza on the occasion of the 18th edition of Photofestival Milan, well express the pure and true essence of the artist. This particular inspiration, definable as " under a spell ", comes from his "enchanted" background, which combines the world of fashion with that of artistic creation.
This photographic series on Mali - created in the nineties, therefore in an era where the themes of third worldism and globalization were still unknown to the majority of public opinion - arose from the journey during which Heinz Schattner lived together with the native populations of Peul, Tuareg and Bambara, in the lands of the Dogon. The artist observed carefully, storing situations, places, characters, architectural and archaeological dimensions. With his skilful use of black and white, and without the use of photo editing, he portrayed the local populations - inserted in their own environment and landscape of reference - dressed in clothes from high fashion collections, thus contaminating that fashion system that still dominates and globalizes the West. A conscious hybridization that intends to destabilize the very concept of globalization, breaking its stereotype through a powerful conceptual action and therefore studied in detail. Not just a "reverberation" due to the concept of fashion. Far from it. These African "model neophytes" dress in our culture but, through it, tell us about theirs.
“Opening up to the world. Photography as a civil commitment": the title chosen for this edition of Photofestival is intended to be an invitation to reflect on the fact that the act of photography, practiced with attention and rigor, is not only a legitimate expression of personal creativity, but above all the way with which one observes reality, capturing its beauty and contradictions, and interpreting it according to one's own reference values. A programmatic direction that is well suited to Heinz Schattner's work on display here, where the reporting intent is combined with civil commitment; the poetic inspiration of methodological rigor and technical virtuosity.
Born in Germany but matured artistically in Paris and London, Heinz Schattner currently lives and works in Italy.
He took his first steps in the field of fashion for important publications, up to the creation, as artistic director, of television advertising campaigns and photographic volumes, including: Thirtynine Souls - Jewels by Angela Pintaldi for Donna Karan - London; Ateh - published by F. Motta and presented by Tashimaya - 5th Avenue - New York; Silvershotz 2017 – folio annual; Reflex Confindustria Moda – Images of an Italian fashion journey.
His daily work in the fashion sector pushes him to investigate the profound meaning of doing and creating. This is how more intimate and experimental projects are born, also suggested by Heinz's predisposition for experiential travel, which testify to a capacity for dreamlike and surreal vision, told by peremptory and eloquent images that arouse in the observer the same contradictory and intense emotions that pushed the 'author at the shot.