The focus entitled "ELISABETTA CATALANO. Between image and performance" opens to the public on 3 April 2019, created by the MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts in collaboration with the Catalan Archive and curated by Aldo Enrico Ponis with the scientific advice of Laura Cherubini .
At the center are the performances of Joseph Beuys Invisible Sculpture (1973), Fabio Mauri, Europa bombardata (1978), Vettor Pisani, Lo Sliding (1972) and Cesare Tacchi, Painting (1972), told through those shots destined to become the iconic image of the performance itself.
A double tribute, therefore: to one of the greatest Italian post-war photographers, witness thanks to her elegant and sensitive lens of a whole generation of artists and intellectuals and, at the same time, a tribute to the history of performance. "If it is not possible to reconstruct the path of a performance - explains the curator Aldo Enrico Ponis -, to revive that complicity between the two artists, one that is expressed with the works, the other through the photographic medium, the image final, iconic will remain only the testimony of something that can only be guessed, remaining beyond comprehension ".
On show slides, color photos, historical prints, correspondence and artist proofs, documents that tell the complexity of the creative process: how is a performance born? When and where did it take place? In which spaces? What are the interactions between artist, photographer, performer, actors and collaborators? To answer these questions, the project investigates the gestation phases that make up the performative process intended to be carried out in the studio and then documented in the photo shoot: from the first intentions to the backstage, from the choice of the spaces for the set-up to the details of the clothing, from the lights to the backdrops, from moments of action to the stillness of images. From an initial exploration of the idea, we then move on to its implementation and finally to the most delicate and demanding moment for the photographer: the choice of the most significant shots, the moment in which, on the sequence of the specimen sheets, some signs, some images circled in red, identify and fix the iconic, definitive image of the performance.
This precious process is revealed to visitors in the MAXXI Archive Wall , with an exhibition that brings an important episode of the art world back into the public space.