curated by Federica Arcoraci

On Thursday 30 June the Foundation hosts a stage of Fotografie Inutili. Archivio fotografico ciclo-diffuso, Luca Bortolato‘s itinerant artistic project, in the Studio of the Arnaldo Pomodoro.

The project, curated by Federica Arcoraci and sponsored by the Municipality of Padua, revolves around the revitalization of a collection of old photographs, coming from forgotten family albums, which Bortolato has recovered and acquired over time, and to which he returns new life and meaning through a performative action that involves the public.

Last April the artist left Verona on a vintage bike for an itinerary that is taking him across all of Italy. At each stage of the journey the artist creates a performance inviting the participants to choose one of the “Fotografie Inutili” (useless photographs), which Bortolato stamps, marks with place and date and signature, and finally give to the participant, also taking a portrait of him/her with his face covered by the received photograph. Through the double act of choice and gift, the “useless” photographs are “reactivated”, acquire new meaning and new life, and become part of a singular “nomadic archive” of the artist, which keeps track of all the photographs “no longer useless”.

As part of the project, Bortolato will create a special variant for the Foundation, born from his encounter with the Arnaldo Pomodoro Archive – where the study and “reactivation” of photographs considered marginal is a daily activity – and with the typical poetics of work of the Maestro. Each photograph is a document of memory, the piece of the story of a universe of people, places, moments and stories. And each photograph has a narrative power, inherent in the image but enhanced by the presence on the back of written words, stamps, dates, references to people and/or situations: words and signs that are indecipherable to us because they belong to other lives, which do not belong to us, writings basically incomprehensible and mysterious, as are the sequences of signs that characterize Pomodoro’s work.

As happens with images, even the encounter with these mysterious writings, between these traces of the lives of others and our lives, our dreams and our intimate stories, triggers the birth of new visions and interpretations, of a new narrative that reactivates and gives new life to “useless photographs”. Guest of the Foundation in the spaces of Arnaldo Pomodoro’s Studio, Bortolato will realize the performance of Fotografie Inutili showing the participants only the back of the photographs: each one will have to choose his photograph to “reactivate” not based on the image, but on curiosity or unexpected connection with the traces written behind it.