It was a very pleasure for us to meet Paolo Pellegrin for the making of his personal exhibition “Paolo Pellegrin. Un’antologia” at MAXXI – National museum of XXI century arts. Even if is certainly one of the most valued photojournalist of contemporary days — not only because he is the winner of ten World Press Photo Awards and other prestigious prizes all over the world, but especially because he is the witness of the most hateful and atrocious human suffering — Paolo Pellegrin seemed to reveal to us another face, the strength of the emotions and hope.
Even if with more than 150 analogue and digital prints, the exhibition is not just an ordinary retrospective; it represents a continue dialogue between the aesthetic sensitivity and the intellectual urgency of the photographer. “I’m not interested in stealing a photograph. I’m interested, instead, in living, as far as I can, with the people I am photographing […] I take an anthropological approach: I like to find themes and subjects to tell my stories.”
The photographs by Paolo Pellegrin suggest us a strong dichotomy between a fragile and dramatic space and some special moment of light that are a sort of soul of the visual intensity of his images.This ambivalence is, for us, also the link between the ethic of the reportage and the aesthetic sensitivity that we decided to translate in the use of the black and white for the entire graphic design. White has no color but the maximum of brightness. Black is the opposite of white. Silver is black and white beyond the gray scale, it is made of metal particles that produce reflections when struck by light. Beyond black and white, however, there is a slight shift, the silver, the metamorphosis from documentary image to thought, therefore a poetic act of which we wanted to make evident through the use of silver in the exhibition and in printed materials.
Exhibition curated by Germano Celant. Exhibition design by Studio Bianchi Architettura. From November 7, 2018 to March 10, 2019 at MAXXI – National museum of XXI century arts.
Related project: Paolo Pellegrin. Un’antologia — Poster