The photographic exhibition "TRIBES, the last breath on earth" was presented today, Tuesday 9 February 2021, at the Museum of Chinese and Ethnographic Art in Parma through an online press conference. April 30, 2021.
The Museum of the Xaverian missionaries has long been committed to saving cultures born before modern technology, raised in isolation, never contaminated and now raped and dispersed. And the marriage with the photographer Arturo Delle Donne was therefore inevitable. “I love to investigate cultural diversity, a diversity that slowly and silently disappears” - said the artist - “. Thus this exhibition was born.
Bodies are like artists' canvases. They welcome shapes and colors. Then they show up and talk. Theirs is a strong and ancient language. Through the drawings on the skin, men have transmitted precious information for millennia: belonging to a tribe, social rank, the will to attack the enemy, the imminence of a "marriage" or an initiation, a deep feeling like mourning or simply your own identity.
Progress, which, recklessly, can suffocate great elements of entire civilizations, is erasing this noble form of body language from the planet, together with so many languages and expressive modes.
Already at the beginning of the 20th century, the great anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski spoke of rescue ethnography, emphasizing the need to document all those customs which, it was understood, would be lost.
The artist recovers powerful tribal stylistic features from Papua New Guinea, Amazonia, Australia, Ethiopia, Peru, Burkina Faso, New Caledonia, reproducing them with care and precision on the faces of students, workers, young graduates, people borrowed from Western mass everyday life. . “In this project - he explains - I used a typical fashion style of photography to underline the analogy between dressing for the Western world and putting on make-up for indigenous peoples”.