Baco about photographs and Minimum are both containers of creativity, photography and culture in the historical and majestic city of Palermo, in Sicily. In a country that has a great history of artists, you can’t leave photography out of the picture. The former is a darkroom and gallery space; the latter a photographic studio.
These two cultural entities and Valentina Sestieri have come together for an exhibition in the new shared photographic lab of fine art, Cutterfish lab. The focus of the exhibition is on the Eighties punk generation in these three cities, witnessed by three Italian photographers. These investigated the underground reality in their hometowns and show it through their work. The photographers are Antonio Amato (Genoa), Toty Ruggieri (Naples) and Fabio Sgroi (Palermo).
They have been published by Yard Press, an independet publisher in Rome, between 2016 and 2018 in three separated volumes. Now, they are all together with a selection of their works in this exhibition, called GENOVA NAPOLI PALERMO.
Being young the Eighties in Italy means being a witness of the birth of new self-managed social spaces and the Do It Yourself cultural movement. It meant the birth of punk in Italy and all the underground places that created a community of not only teenagers, influenced by metropolis like London and Berlin. First of all Genoa was living in a hard period of repression due to armed battles throughout the city; Naples was trying to stand up after a great earthquake and Palermo was witnessing massacres perpetrated by the mafia. Due to this social, economical and historical context, people from different backgrounds but with the same purpose started to create what will then be remembered as the birth of punk in Italy and also the last most creatively productive era.
The photographers give us their most authentic point of view of that generation. During that period they were all three photojournalists, working with some big names of that time – Letizia Battaglia, for instance. The pictures are spontaneous, showing how life as a punk was in an authentical way. The photographers’ work is almost invisible, there is no structured disposition, no prepared scene. It is how it is in reality, and isn’t that what photography should be? The transfer of real life on film?
This is exhibition does not show only photographs shot by great photographers; they are the representation of a generation, of a true historical past of the Italian punk scene.
The exhibition will go from April 18 to June 8 at Cutterfish Lab in Palermo. For the event, Tomo Studio will create a limited special edition of posters inspired by the works in the exhibition.