MILAN - On 14 January, Sotheby’s Milan will host an exhibition of the work of Giorgio Ciam. It has been a wonderful opportunity for me – and now the public – to rediscover a fascinating Italian artist and to explore the quality and variety of Italian art in general. Cultural projects such as this are something Sotheby’s is glad to promote, and it has been great to work with the curator of the show, Elena Re, who here gives some background to the exhibition.
Giorgio Ciam, Stratificazioni. Essere un altro con la pelle dell’opera di Bacon, 1982. Private collection, Torino.
As curator of this exhibition and director of the Giorgio Ciam Archive, you are undoubtedly the best person to introduce Giorgio Ciam. Can you please tell me more about the aim of this exhibition?
Exploring all of his work, this exhibition – in collaboration with Archivio Giorgio Ciam – tells the story of this artist who, in the 1970s, was a member of the international Body Art movement and conducted fascinating research into the medium of photography between 1969 and 1996, pursuing his search for his own identity with outcomes that were always new and pioneering.
Giorgio Ciam concentrated on his own body, on his own face. His is an identity that is continually examined, yet never fully grasped. By using photomontage, painting and projecting his work onto his own, moving body, Ciam was able to transform himself, and, by further cropping, deleting, collage and décollage, made the body a landscape that creates a universe of possible stories, presenting and debating philosophical issues that are still pertinent today.
Giorgio Ciam, Gli uomini neri, 1970. Collezione La Gaia, Busca.
How many works will be on display and what is their provenance?
The 48 works in this show come from a number of private collections – both in Italy and abroad – as well as from the artist’s archive. The exhibition includes photographic works that are emblematic of Ciam’s work, as well as some important pieces – some of which are being shown for the first time – where photography makes way for drawing, collage and sculpture. An additional dimension is given to the exhibition by a collection of original documents – such as artist’s books, publications, manuscripts, invitations and documentary photography – from the archive. I have also edited a catalogue to accompany the exhibition and on the opening evening there will be an introductory discussion with me and Matteo Viglietta from Collezione La Gaia. I think that this is a special occasion, an opportunity for debate on Italian art, and on its quality and beauty.
Beatrice Botta is a specialist in the Contemporary Art department, Sotheby’s Milan.
Giorgio Ciam curated by Elena Re
Via Broggi, 19
20129 Milan, Italy
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