Luciano Rigolini: What you see

6 September to 16. November 2008

   

Anonymous snapshot
from the series «What you see»
© 2008 Luciano Rigolini

Anonymous snapshot
from the series «What you see»
© 2008 Luciano Rigolini

Anonymous snapshot
from the series «What you see»
© 2008 Luciano Rigolini

The focus of the exhibition is the installation What You See: 107 anonymous photographs that Luciano Rigolini has assembled over years of collection and arranged to form a new, autonomous work. Rigolini's objets trouvés stand out because their subject matter is almost always secondary to their succinct forms and structures; the question "What do we see?” can no longer be separated from the question "How do we see?” With What You See, Luciano Rigolini has also taken up the thread of earlier works in which he expressed a profound mistrust of photography's documentary character. His own photographs from the 1990s in Urban Landscapes refer pointedly to the question of standpoint and direct our gaze away from reality itself and toward the way it is perceived. In terms of form and content, they correspond in striking ways with the anonymous snapshots in What You See. Rigolini's intense effort to come to terms with the theme of perception is ultimately reflected in more recent works such as X1 and X2 (2006), Natura Morta (2007), or his recently completed series of large-format photographs (Untitled, 2008), in which he transforms functional photographs of machines into museum tableaus. All these more recent works are about a new, sometimes perplexing interpretation of photographs that Rigolini stumbled across in forgotten archives or at flea markets. He reworks them with slight digital interventions and powerful enlargement so that they reveal their sculptural, symbolic, and metaphorical qualities. As with What You See, the deliberate selection and changing of the context - that is, their transfer to a museum setting - play a decisive role.

Zurich ZH 7, 1997
© Luciano Rigolini

Untitled, 2008
© Luciano Rigolini

Luciano Rigolini
Born in 1950 in Italian-speaking Switzerland, studied at the Université Paris VIII, Département Cinéma. In the early 1990s he attracted international attention with his Urban Landscapes, in which he explored the rules of the medium of photography and the relationship between photographic images and art history. In parallel with his artistic activity he has also worked since 1995 as a producer for the European cultural television channel ARTE in Paris, where he is responsible for the areas of documentary films on authors and the creative documentary film. Rigolini explores new forms of narrative and expression in the documentary. He has produced works by filmmakers such as Chris Marker, Alexander Sokurov, Naomi Kawase, Alain Cavalier, and others, and discovered various young talents. At present he is concentrating his work as a photographer on forms of seeing and the perception of images.

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Museo Cantonale d'Arte, Lugano.

The 107-part installation What You See was purchased by the FRIENDS OF THE FOTOSTIFTUNG SCHWEIZ in 2008 and presented to the Fotostiftung Schweiz as a permanent loan.

Publication
Fotostiftung Schweiz, ed. Luciano Rigolini: What You See. Baden: Lars Müller Publishers, 2008. With a text by Peter Pfrunder (English, German, French, Japanese). 192 pp., 107 illustrations.