Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Amore e Piombo

Amore e Piombo: the photography of extremes in the 1970s. Translated - the love and lead - a title that encapsulates the juxtaposition of freedom and violence displayed in the collection of photos from 1970s Italy. A time characterised by upheaval, with revolt against the communist regime combined with a refusal of 'traditional' values in favour of the sexual liberation that has become so widely associated with the time period. The black and white images provide a stark glimpse of a much wider scene. The glamour of movie stars, the explicit destruction of explosions, the more subtle threat of exposed pistols, and the countless photographs of politicians at work reveal a surface which is impenetrable in its secrecy. If anything, what proves most interesting are the questions it raises 40 years on about the appearance of our own world. Captured in images that will remain unchanged by time, what will future generations infer from the many photos of the present day? 

The curation of the exhibition itself compliments the impact of the photographs. Cabinets lined with portraits give a sense of an archive of work, placing historicity at the forefront of discussion. Documentation of Aldo Moro's assassination lines the floor on blocks that hinder the pathway of the viewer, perhaps reflecting the nature of violence to act as an obstruction within life. The words of Moro's family loom in the background - 'As to Aldo Moro's life and death, let history judge.' And so it will.

Amore e Piombo is at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery until 2nd November. The exhibition stands as another of the many great free things to do in Brighton. It works as part of the wider Brighton Photo Biennial - the UK's largest photography festival. With 19 exhibitions and more than 50 events it leaves a lot to explore as the days grow increasingly colder. 

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