The photos of Mario Giacomelli inspired by the poetry of Franco Costabile arrive at the MABOS (Museo d’Arte del Bosco della Sila)


By John

“A few years ago, by chance, I found myself in my hands some black and white photographs which, at first glance, seemed less than successful. In reality they were deliberately imperfect images, characterized by an ethereal, abstract essence. They caused such a strong impact that I decided to focus my attention” said Mario Talarico, founder of MABOS (Museum of Art of the Bosco della Sila)recalls the origins of his passion for the shots of Mario Giacomelli, a photographer recognized worldwide for his original photographic language as well as author of the project “The song in the new emigrants” inspired by the Calabrian poet Franco Costabile.

Precisely these images which portray a desertified Calabria in its internal countries, documenting the transformation of a peasant world into something not perfectly understood, make up the permanent exhibition “Dark room” which will be inaugurated on Sunday 10 September at MABOS.

At the gates of the Catanzaro Sila, to embellish the exhibition park which includes more than 35 works produced site-specifically by national and international artists hosted over the years in the artistic residencies and distributed in 30,000 m2 of woodland, thanks to the collaboration with the Mario Giacomelli Foundation-Archive , here come these 25 Giacomelli photographs taken in the towns of the Calabrian hinterland in the 1980s, between the pure beauty of powerful humility and the mystery of a land dominated by strong contrasts.

“We decided to set up the exhibition at a strategic point of the outdoor museum itinerary, near the Sacred Forms Area, offering the possibility of entering into a close relationship and interaction with the poetic dialogue” explains Elisabetta Longo, director of the museum founded in 2017 , proud of the project which represents an opportunity for reconnaissance and re-appropriation of a piece of Calabrian, Italian history.

Even physically, within the exhibition park, the exhibition represents a caesura: a structure in laminated wood and glass is preparing to host the first and important photographic collection of MABOS, thus becoming the precedent for possible insights into the photographic universe.

To raise the curtain on these works which, as highlighted by the text by Katiuscia Biondi Giacomelli, curator of the exhibition and artistic director of the Mario Giacomelli Archive Association, portray ordinary people suspended in a perennial immobility made up of small everyday things, closed in a motion perpetual, around a center in which everything gravitates and is absorbed, it will be a vernissage, embellished with talks and artistic performances.

In fact, Sunday 10 September will begin at 9 am with an informative moment on the photographer from the Marche in the presence of Katiuscia Biondi Giacomelli, Antonio Armentano, photography expert, and Caterina Martino, professor at the University of Calabria and the eCampus University. It will continue at 11 am, with a talk in streaming connection with Mario Cresci, one of the greatest protagonists of Italian photography, who, hosted by the photojournalist Massimo Mastrolillo, will tell anecdotes, experiences and personal and professional relationships with Giacomelli.

At 3 pm, the official opening of the permanent exhibition “Camera Oscura” by the founder and director of MABOS, introduced by the institutional greeting of the president of the regional council, Filippo Mancuso, and the mayor of Sorbo San Basile, Vincenzo Nania. The inauguration will be marked by the expertise of the curator of the exhibition, by the verses of the “Song of the new emigrants” recited by the actress Lara Chiellino and by the performative incursions curated by Scenari Visibili-Tip Teatro. To seal the intense day, at 6.30 pm, there will be a concert by the Calabrian singer-songwriter Carmine Torchia.

“Through these shots in which it is clear that Giacomelli rejects the rules of good photography to delve into the matter of things and look at them without superstructures, just as Costabile shuns a cantabile verse and adopts free verse, we offer visitors the possibility of looking inside the folds of a people as well as between the stark contrasts of places told in verse and images, always showing closeness to the least with an eye towards the new generations” Talarico and Longo comment, inviting enthusiasts, amateur photographers, cultural institutions to take part in an event that represents the culmination of an operation of great value for MABOS and for the entire territory.