The photographs and videos (Vincenzo Castella) by ten important contemporary Italian and European artists that make up the collection Milano senza confini (“Milan without Boundaries”) were produced in the course of a project of commission of the Province of Milan conducted in 1998-99. They were shown at an exhibition of the same title at the Spazio Oberdan of Milan in 2000 and published in a catalogue edited by Roberta Valtorta, with texts by Eleonora Fiorani and Stefano Boeri and published by Silvana Editoriale.
The project is devoted to the city of Milan and was intended by the Province of Milan as an ideal completion of the earlier Archivio dello Spazio project (1987-1997), which had focused instead on the territory of the province. While the photographic campaigns of the Archivio dello Spazio started out strictly from the question of the architectural and environmental heritage and then moved on to the theme of the complexity of the contemporary landscape molded by industrial development and the subsequent changes that have taken place during the postindustrial phase, the Milano senza confini project was meant to be freer and more open: the artists in fact took every aspect of the city into consideration, from the urban development of recent years to new works of architecture, from social relations to facets of culture, including that of the past, of its art and history, and the analysis of existential states typical of urban life.
The works of the ten artists, very different from one another in their methods, techniques and formats, are examples of the many tendencies in contemporary photography. A large number of themes are tackled: the expanding metropolitan fabric (Basilico, Castella, Davies, Guidi), working-class neighborhoods and forms of mass entertainment like soccer (Willmann), historic architecture, the vestiges of the history of art, of memory (Struth, Jodice, Gioli, Fischli and Weiss), forms of consumption and symptoms of metropolitan solitude (Castella) and the precariousness of figures in the urban setting (Guidi, Graham). As a whole, the different lines of research convey the impression of a dispersed urban environment that is losing, along with its urbanistic, economic and social boundaries, its identity.
Property of the Milan Metropolitan Area, entrusted to the Museum of Contemporary Photography
Contents 280 prints, video
Dating of works 1998-1999
Authors Gabriele Basilico, Vincenzo Castella, John Davies, David Fischli e Peter Weiss, Paolo Gioli, Paul Graham, Guido Guidi, Mimmo Jodice, Thomas Struth, Manfred Willmann
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