closed Joan Fontcuberta

The show

Joan Fontcuberta. Culture of Dust inaugurates the exhibition season at the Fortuny Museum in Venice, hosting from 24 January to 10 March 2024 the twelve light boxes created by Joan Fontcuberta: the outcome of the Catalan artist's dialogue with the extraordinary historical collections of the ICCD in Rome, an institute founded at the end of the nineteenth century as a Photographic Cabinet to document cultural heritage for protection and cataloging purposes. An exhibition that in Venice, at the Fortuny Museum, recalls the profound connection of this place with photography, from the experiments of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo to his very rich archive kept here, then an avant-garde center of photography in the Seventies and Eighties.

In the project born within the ICCD Artists in Residence program curated by Francesca Fabiani, Fontcuberta chose to work on some deteriorated photographic plates from the Chigi Fund, the starting point for a series of visual and linguistic experiments. Scion of one of the richest and most powerful noble families in history, Prince Francesco Chigi Albani della Rovere (1881-1953), naturalist and amateur photographer, in the course of his experiments often arrived at surprising solutions that interact well with the provocative intelligence and ironic by Fontcuberta. A meeting of personalities who from the archive dust - evoked by the title which refers to the famous 1920 work by Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray Élevage de poussière - produced new works in a contemporary perspective.

Through a surrealist type procedure which consists in the taking/appropriation of already given elements - in this case a fragment of the plate - Fontcuberta has completed his creative act, returning images that are almost abstract and yet real; implausible landscapes, absolutely not manipulated, which appear in the light box display. The materials on which the artist worked, if on the one hand lose their memory, on the other acquire new physiognomy through the many signs that the passage of time has left on them: scratches, gaps and, sometimes, bacteria and fungi proliferated thanks to chemically friendly environment of the silver salt gelatin emulsion. New landscapes that add to the original subject of the photograph, visible against the light.


Works on display

Timetable and tickets


San Marco 3958,
30124 Venice


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