The Embassy of Italy in Doha and the Katara – the Cultural Village Foundation have announced a photo exhibition ‘A Focus on Italian Heritage’, curated by the Italian contemporary art gallery Spazio Nuovo – Roma, from January 15 to 30, at Katara's Building 19, Gallery 1, starting 6.30pm everyday.
Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano said, “We are very proud to open the Italian Embassy’s cultural programme in 2019 with this very special exhibition, a unique collection of 16 art pictures, created and made by a group of three artists, Riccardo Ajossa (Italy), Camilla Borghese (Italy), and Olivier Roller (France), using photography to reinterpret the immense Italian artistic heritage.”
Every art piece is a visual and emotional journey through the renowned Italian heritage of classical architecture, painting, and sculpture, which have made over the centuries and still make Italy a great source of inspiration and beauty highly-admired around the world.
The three artists share the same bound of devotion to the photographic medium and to the sublime Greco-Roman art as a subject of personal interest. However, what visually links their compositions is their aptness at highlighting and unveiling certain key elements of specific masterpieces of the ancient times, so as to reveal an intrinsic meaning that would have otherwise eluded comprehension at a first glance.
Their common sense of composition, better known in the world of photography as “focus,” reflects the intrinsic abilities to simultaneously archive and innovate.
“The artists’ approach embodies the great contribution of contemporary photography to ‘cultural diplomacy’ – it certainly captures moments but also helps defining the past, building the present, and shaping our vision for the future. Photography is a powerful tool to share cultural heritage as well as stimulate people’s feelings and ideas.
“In this regard, Italy and Qatar has the same vision. Both our countries are committed to preserve, promote, and make their respective cultural heritage as much accessible as possible to encourage the inclusive development and dialogue between communities and generations, as it is also highlighted in the Qatar National Vision 2030,” Salzano said.
What distinguishes the works of Roller, Borghese, and Ajossa, are their artistic subjects, respectively sculpture, architecture, and painting. Roller investigates the anatomic details of Classical Roman statues to reveal the most intimate and human aspects of power, while Borghese concentrates on the wondrous perspective and the divine proportions of the monumental architecture of ancient Rome, and Ajossa re-examines fragments of Italian Renaissance paintings, mirroring them in the soft undulations of the sea to amplify and highlight their chromatic allure.
Central to the three artists’ work is the mythic world - seemingly fleeting - of ages long gone such as the ancient Greek and Roman periods, which so deeply marked and continue to mark the Western civilisation.
The “enlargement” technique adopted by these artists is doubly revealing. On the one hand, visitors are invited to observe the ability that marked the production of a world apparently primitive at first sight, but very complex in its developments. On the other hand, they become aware of how much the Western civilisation owes its way of life, identity and progress to its predecessors.
“I am particularly proud that the increasing people-to-people contacts achieved through art and the more intense cultural exchanges have largely contributed to strengthen the bonds of friendship between Italy and Qatar.
“The exhibition falls within this broader context of fruitful cooperation and dialogue where I believe our ambitions, expectations, and ideas can have no boundaries. I hope that all our friends here in Doha will enjoy the exhibition and I wish to all the visitors an engaging journey through our unique and beloved Italian heritage,” Salzano said.