From May 16 to October 1, 2017, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo presents Le Notti Bianche, a solo exhibition of Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, curated by Filippo Maggia and Irene Calderoni. The show includes the international preview of a new photo series, devoted to Italian historical theaters, a continuation and development of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s research on theatrical and cinematic spaces.
The whole photo work of Hiroshi Sugimoto aims to explore the relationship between time and space, or better, the perception we have of this relationship, with the human eye as the camera that renders a version of it – clear and plastic, in the case of Sugimoto.
The inquiry moves from a simple question, almost a curiosity, which the Japanese artist asked himself towards the end of the Seventies: how to capture, in one single shot, the whole flow of images contained in a film, during a regular theater screening. The result is a dazzle-white screen lighting up the room which, for two long hours, has contained stories that have made the public dream. Sugimoto photographed first of all the 1920s and 30s film theaters, and subsequently moved on to the more elegant ones of the 1950s, right down to the drive-ins. In this way he contextualized his research, reviewing the evolution of the seventh art, from the revelation of it as a new artistic and cultural form of expression to film as a mass phenomenon, which is capable of not only producing enchantment, and at the same time alienation, in our everyday life, but also of communicating, by celebrating or criticizing.
Just like in his Seascapes, where the seas stand for a past that keeps regenerating and repeating itself, while increasing its life experience and History, here too Sugimoto delegates the audience (of his works, not of films) to adapt to the present time the memory contained in that magical blank space.
The previously unseen series of 20 works presented in Turin was entirely created in Italy, over the past three years, after a 12-year hiatus in the production of Theaters. For the first time ever, the audience and theater gallery, where the photo shoot was organized, are shown along with the illuminated screen. Among the photographed theaters we find Teatro dei Rinnovati, Siena; Teatro dei Rozzi, Siena; Bibiena’s Teatro Scientifico, Mantua; Ferrara’s Teatro Comunale; Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza; Villa Mazzacorati, Bologna; Teatro Goldoni, Bagnacavallo; Teatro Comunale Masini, Faenza; Teatro all’Antica, Sabbioneta; Teatro Sociale, Bergamo; Teatro Farnese, Parma; Teatro Carignano, Turin.
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (press release)