Almost two years have passed since my last post, in 2019. The pandemic status of the COVID outbreak declared in February 2020 forced us to cancel any non-essential trips, and all the exhibitions were put on hold.
Although we are not yet out of the pandemic, thanks to vaccines we can now travel for leisure and therefore plan cultural trips.
I got ready for my third Foto/Industria exhibition, this year dedicated to Food. This biennale, promoted by MAST, is organized in Bologna, and includes 11 exhibitions in 10 beautiful locations (museums, private palaces, libraries...) in the city centre. For free!
The topic this year allowed for a great variety of projects to be on show, ranging from still-lives of chocolates, aerial photography, industrial production and much more. Impressive work from Mishka Henner (3 projects), Jan Groover and Lorenzo Vitturi, and it is always a pleasure to watch the accurate reportage by Herbert List about the Florio tuna fishery activities in Sicily in 1951. All of this in the frame of fresco'd historical buildings. Art-squared!!!
Thanks to the 11th of November being bank holiday in Belgium, I also had time to visit the exhibition 'Stanley Kubrick photographs: through a different lens', which was on show in Trieste. I am a big fan of his work and wanted to see how he started out as a photographer for Look! right after the second world war. Plus, it was a first in Trieste for me. Nice to finally set foot in Piazza Italia and discover the older part of the city, which also served me as inspiration for a few pictures. The local cuisine is very tasty and takes plenty from Austrian and Slovenian recipes. An interesting melting pot which makes this city very special!
When I moved to Groningen to start my PhD in early 2012 (oh boy, time flies...), I saw something unusual: one of the buildings on the main square was mercilessly torn down. This was a bit of a shock to me, an Italian used to see buildings stand for centuries, whether restored or "romantically" abandoned to the passing of time.
I later came to know the municipality was planning to replace what had been built right after the second world war up to the 70s with buildings that would be thoughtfully designed and serve the city: a hotel and the Groninger Forum.
The latter meant to become a totem for culture, with the biblioteque, cinema, tourist information and shop, space for temporary exhibitions and company gatherings, the comics museum, a bar, a roof-top restaurant and a beautiful terrace on the 10th floor. How cool!
Long story short, after some troubles related to earthquake-proof foundations, the Forum officially opened on the 29th of November 2019. I had to be there!
With (almost) 24h long events, a huge crowd started queuing to get in. One hour standing in line in the middle of the night paid off once we started to look around: the welcoming screens, the lights on the walls and the bar serving beer and pretzels. Tired but happy!
At almost 3am we had to leave to allow for the VIP (aka paid) party to start. But I was not done visiting, and I have no problems waking up early. After some 4 hours of sleep I was biking again towards the Forum to have breakfast and explore the building with only few people around. Breakfast was on the ground floor, accompanied with live music and free magazines and newspapers available at the kiosk.
With my tummy properly filled, I started exploring the ground floor. Here there is space for the bar, auditorium for open screenings, the tourist info+shop and the two-floors kids biblioteque. Kids were having lots of fun with an Alice in Wonderland-themed breakfast, and I could not help but wandering around with a smile on my face!
It was time to go up. Moving staircases connect all the floors and are an important part of the building because they are not just moving people up/down but allow to see the floors from a different perspective; everything is seamlessly connected.
The moving staircases are also a constant inspiration for photos, but you must have guessed that by now :)
Although books can be found on several floors sharing spaces with bar, cinema and exhibitions, the third floor is dedicated to reading... and much more. You can sit and play chess, or pool, or sip your coffee while admiring the Martini tower. Everything made to make people enjoy beyond the simple lending of reading materials.
The five cinema halls are on the fifth floor, together with a hippy bar, lots of comfy chairs and the whole collection of DVDs of the biblioteque. Going for a movie and lending another one will probably become common practice here.
Of the five halls, one has couches and armchairs instead of seats. They are so comfortable you could stay there forever! A small bar behind ensures you keep hydrated for the whole duration of the movie.
To the upper floors now... The restaurant on the 10th floor is filled with plants and furnished with several armchairs. Beautiful views of the city and an external space for the sunny days. The same space can be also used for open-air cinema and events. The terrace can be easily accessed and the whole city is suddenly at sight. Can't wait to see how the Nieuw Markt will look like once the hotel and residential building will be completed! Of course another visit is planned to come check the works in progress and see the fully functional Forum with exhibitions, the comics museum and much much more! Tot volgende keer!
It was about time! The gigantic biennal on industry- and work-related photograhy orgenized by MAST returns this year. It can be visited until the 24th of November.
I discovered this great exhibition by chance in 2017, when I was in the region visiting friends and relatives, and of course to eat great food: Emilia-Romagna is home to some of the finest Italian delicatessen such as Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano, lasagne, tortellini, etc.
This exhibition is totally worth visiting for many reasons:
And of course, being in Italy and being sunny, how could I resist having an ice-cream?
I couldn't, but running short on time I had to enter one of the venues while still eating. Emilia didn't miss the opportunity and promptly took the evidence of my greediness:
Now... Remember when I mentioned the parallel program?
Luckily before leaving for Bologna I saw there was going to be an interesting discussion about Ferrania, the italian company of photographic film that basically provided all the pellicle for the italian film industry from after the WWII up to the 90s.
The discussion was going to be between Gabriele Mina', a well known italian anthropologist and... Michele Smargiassi, journalist at La Repubblica (biggest national newspaper) and author of the blog Fotocrazia. Being a huge fan, I could not miss it!
I even asked him to autograph my copy of his book Un'autentica bugia ! (though i needed some encouragement- thanks again Emilia for the support and the picture ahah!)
That's all folks! I'm looking forward to the 2021 edition already, hoping it will be as good as this one!
Some time ago my dear friend Tilde asked me if I could lend her one of my pictures to be the cover of her PhD thesis. Specifically, it was one of those took in Cuba in 2015 (already published on my website).
This is the result! It is the most beautiful cover, isn't it?? (after the cover of my thesis of course ahah!).
Here the link to the popular summary.
Thanks a lot to all the people that attended the opening of the collective exhibition of photogallery Lichtzone "Movement"!
It is always nice to share different points of view on the pictures and hear what people value and what catches their attention.
For who was not able to attend, the exhibition is to be seen until the 28th of January!
Tomorrow 7 January 2018 me and the other members of the photogallery Lichtzone will exhibit our works under the theme "Movement"!!!
The opening starts at 15:00 at the photogallery Lichtzone in Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 36.
There are many questions that inspired our photos:
- How do you photograph movement or do you suggest movement in a still image?
- Is photography always still?
- Everything is moving and photography captures it in a part of a second, or not?
The exhibition is to be seen until the 28th of January. Everyone is cordially invited!
I'm tremendously happy to announce that I have sold my first picture! It was taken in Rotterdam, in 2014, at the square of the new train station.
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