VisionQuesT 4rosso presents the exhibition Les Inconnues by Alessandra Calò (a tribute to Anna Atkins and Constance Fox Talbot).
The project pays tribute to Anna Atkins and Constance Fox Talbot, the first two women who created photographs and illustrated books using photographic images. Since the origins of photography, an extraordinary union between photographic images and publishing has come about, destined to last over the centuries.
In the nineteenth century, together with the invention of photography, the first precious self-produced photographic books were created, a prelude to an exponential growth of the future publishing market and the birth of a real cult for enthusiasts and collectors alike.
The record for the invention of the photographic book belongs to a woman, Anna Atkins: an extraordinary and enlightened figure, a scientist and artist, who, together with Constance Fox Talbot, marked a fundamental milestone in the history of photographic publishing. The study of their work has given Alessandra Calò the opportunity to deepen her research on the first printing techniques such as calotypes and cyanotypes.
It is also a personal reflection on the concept of the “latent image”. In fact, through the use of photosensitive emulsions, and in absolute domestic conditions – almost as if to recreate the actions these artists performed in the 19th century – Alessandra Calò wanted to impress fragments of female images on the plate, which look more like the materialization of a dream than a real photographic portrait. The printing process – in this case silver gelatin – allowed her to deal with the natural element, as well as with the casual one, bringing out the difficulty and the humanity of the process, which does not have among its requisites the accuracy or absence of defect. The concept of time and the transformation from something immaterial to a visible form, remain the central aspects of her work, and allow her to constantly reflect and dialogue with the material qualities of the photographic medium.
The protagonists of LES INCONNUES can be considered, in a certain sense, the result of an investigation and an attempt to go back in time, as if to make contact with the female protagonists of the history of photography.
Alessandra Calò : Les Inconnues
March 4 – May 6, 2023
Piazza Invrea, 4/R
16123 Genova GE, Italy
Wednesday to Saturday from 3 pm to 7 pm and by appointment