The association PHOCAL – Photographies et Créativités d’Allauch, welcomes in the Galerie du Vieux Bassin, in Allauch, from April 14 to May 1, 2023, the exhibition of the photographer Christian Ramade: ” Les trésors cachés du Sacro monte di Orta “, in partnership with the Foundation ” Regards de Provence “.
“During one of my Italian trips, I discovered the lake of Orta. A little away from the big lakes, nestled at the foot of the Alps, it expresses the romantic feeling par excellence. Its landscapes are worthy of the paintings of Gaspard David Friedrich; it is said that Nietzsche wrote the first pages of Thus Spoke Zarathustra here. A walk on the hill overlooking the small village of Orta San Giulio leads me to the twenty-one chapels lost in the forest of Sacro Monte. Once under their porch, gates forbid visitors to go any further: this is what brings back my old photographic demons. Behind these barriers, the eye struggles to see and has difficulty getting used to the half-light of the chapels which are not lit. This gothic universe seems to have inspired the novels of Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stocker and the films of “Hammer Production”. I am certain that a new series of photographs is necessary because behind these gates await me the “People of Orta”: more than 800 life-size sculptures in polychrome terracotta, dating from the 16th century, whose models were often the villagers of the time. These figures, orchestrated in a skilful scenography, are of a striking realism; even the most static figures reveal a propensity for movement. However, this magic is fragile and precarious, it depends on a very limited angle of view: the one imposed on the spectators stuck behind the entrance gates. The day I was able to pass through these gates for the first time, everything happened as if my presence had disturbed the sacred order of the statues. It was too late to turn back. It is through my images that I try to share my transgression with you: from now on you will never see these statues as you did before. – Christian Ramade.
The “Sacro Monte di Orta” is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It took two years to obtain permission to photograph the interior of the 21 chapels and ten trips to Orta to take the pictures. This work, carried out by Christian Ramade with the help of the Regards de Provence foundation, resulted in a book and a monumental exhibition at the Palais Carli in Marseille and at the “Museo di Scienze Naturali” in Turin.
Opening: Friday 14 April at 7pm, followed by an evening of projections/meetings, hosted by Christian Ramade, on the genesis and anecdotes of this work, which was spread over several years and led to the creation of two monumental exhibitions, in Marseille and Turin, and the publication of a book by the Fondation Regards de Provence.
Guided tours: During the exhibition, guided tours by the author on Saturdays 15, 22 and 29 April and Sunday 23 April, at 3pm.
Discussion: Thursday 27 April, at 8pm, presentation/debate by Christian Ramade: “La couleur tombée du ciel”, in the Galerie du Vieux Bassin: the active role of colour in the composition of images.
Address: Galerie du Vieux Bassin, montée Barret, 13190 Allauch.
Open every day, including Sundays, from 3 to 7 pm
Sunday 23 April and Monday 1 May, open from 10 am to 6.30 pm.
Free parking: théâtre de Nature
Galerie du Vieux Bassin
Montée Félix Baret, 13190 Allauch, France
April 14, 2023 to May 01, 2023