The Dorothea Lange exhibition. Stories of life and work , which consists of over 200 images and is curated by CAMERA artistic director Walter Guadagnini and curator Monica Poggi, presents the career of Dorothea Lange (Hoboken, New Jersey, 1895 - San Francisco, 1965), author who was, as John Szarkowski wrote, “by choice a social observer and by instinct an artist.”
The exhibition itinerary, which can be visited from 19 July to 8 October at CAMERA in Turin , focuses in particular on the Thirties and Forties, the absolute peak of his activity, a period in which he documents the epochal events that changed the economic structure and social life of the United States. Between 1931 and 1939, the Southern United States was in fact hit by a severe drought and continuous sandstorms, which brought agriculture in the area to its knees, forcing thousands of people to migrate. Dorothea Lange is part of the group of photographers called by the Farm Security Administration (government agency responsible for promoting the policies of the New Deal) to document the exodus of agricultural workers in search of employment on the large plantations of the Central Valley: Lange creates thousands of shots, collecting stories and stories, then reported in the detailed captions that complete the images.
It is in this context that he created the portrait, which has gone down in history, of a desperate young mother exhausted by poverty (Migrant Mother), who lives together with her seven children in a camp of tents and abandoned cars.
The climate crisis, migration, discrimination: although several decades separate us from these images, the themes addressed by Dorothea Lange are absolutely topical and provide food for thought and opportunities for debate on the present, as well as highlighting an essential stage in the history of twentieth century photography.
The exhibition therefore offers Turin residents and tourists an unmissable opportunity to learn more about the author of one of the symbolic images of motherhood and dignity of the 20th century and to question themselves about the present.