The first major exhibition in Italy by the international photographer and director Denis Piel is organised by Luca Gracis in collaboration with Valerio Tazzetti, whose contemporary art gallery in Turin, Photo&Contemporary, will host it from Tuesday 8th March to 3rd April 2022.
The title evokes a fall, a return to the essential, to realism, to the myth of origin: Piel’s project is, in fact, a celebration of nature and fertility, which correlates bodies and earth, growth and death, rural and urban, nature and culture.
And this year the 59th Venice Biennale exhibition follows three themes: body representation and metamorphosis, human relationships with technology, and the relationship between the body and Earth.
“I was looking to develop a new project that touched me personally. After my film “Love is Blind”, personal relationships became my dominant motivation to take on any project. In many ways, this project was a continuity of my work as a fashion photographer. A continuity… again, I’m telling a story – narrative – and pushing relationships this time – us and nature – with our underlying sexuality. And as always, these relationships are fundamental and essential. Relevant today more than ever, with the constant news cycle about the effects of climate change.
Moving to France after 9/11, my son fell in love with the land and became a farmer. What could be better than to be inspired by one’s surroundings and family. Watching the farming, the development of the land and the work involved touched all my senses. Here, I recognised the underlying sexual connotations relevant to my past fashion work, making even more fundamental sense in our relationship to the earth—specifically, Nature – the Earth – and Us. The similarity between plants and us with their cycle of life and death became fundamental to my concept. What struck me repeatedly was the visual symbolic eroticism that coincided with the concept.
I was extremely fortunate to find a cast of willing participants without whom I would never have been able to achieve my results. They wholeheartedly participated and collaborated in the project without any inhibitions or restraints. Thanks to them, we developed the project to its full potential.
Today, my life is an extension of the DOWN TO EARTH project. With age, we recognise our fundamental relationship to the earth. Our surroundings influence how we live. It has become my norm appreciating life’s abundance and its inevitable cycle.” – Denis Piel 2022
Denis Piel : Down To Earth
From 3rd February To 4th March 2022
Exhibition At Galleria Gracis
Piazza Castello, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
From 8th March To 3rd April 2022
Via dei Mille, 36, 10123 Torino TO, Italy