Opening: 12.11.2019, 19:00
Exhibition: 13.11. – 29.11.2019
Curated by: Stefano Riba
The Realpolitik project was born in the form of fanzines published by Cesura Publishing, the editorial brace of the internationally renowned collective of photojournalists among which Santese is one of the founders and Valli is a member, with the aim of thinking, in an ironic and grotesque way, about the iconography that the Italian political class of the so-called third Republic attributes to itself and feeds daily through images published on social media.
The time frame of the five editions sent to the press so far, recalls precise political events. March 4th 2018, election day which saw the success of the 5 Star Movement and the League, leading to the disappearance of the right-left bipolar system and giving birth to the third Republic, corresponds with the presentation date of Boys Boys Boys: the first of the fanzines ( printed in 100 copies and immediately sold out) by Santese and Valli. The sequence of this photographic volume presents 22 portraits of important Italian politicians taken during the electoral campaign. The following June 2nd, known as Republic Day, preceded by only 24 hours from the establishment of the yellow-green government, is the launch of the second edition of Boys Boys Boys, this time printed in black and white with a rather sculptural aesthetics. On the same day the authors follow the traditional institutional-military parade on Via dei Fori Imperiali in Rome, portraying the new President Giuseppe Conte and the citizens participating to the celebrations. These images converge, a month later, in the third fanzine: Popolopopolo. The trip to Italy of politicians and their supporters continues, arriving in Pontida on July 1st 2018. For decades the Lombard municipality has hosted the most important gathering of the Northern League, an event that Santese and Valli have been following since 2011. The fourth fanzine, Lega Nord Party, is therefore a selection of the entire photographic material produced throughout the last seven years during these parties celebrations. Finally, the fifth volume, which completes only temporarily, the Realpolitik series, is MoVimento Lento, dedicated to the 5 Star Movement. Even this one composed of photographs taken during relevant media events of the five-star party.
Realpolitik is a socio-anthropological-physiognomic journey that uses the stylistic features of the self-representation of the Italian political class to present a pop universe. A prefix to be declined in: pop-ular; Pop-ulist; Pop-Art, note the attention to the myths of the image and communication of American avant-garde artists; pop-music, echoing from the titles of the volumes with references to Sabrina Salerno, to the hymn, “stolen” from the Seven Nation Army, for the Italian victory during the 2006 world championship and from the songs of the Central-South American reggaeton.
Inevitably, this pop universe is ours and it represents Italy so well that it has had excellent results nationally and internationally and specifically, the one close-up of Matteo Salvini published in Boys Boys Boys, has been chosen by Time, the world famous US magazine, to illustrate the cover of the September 2018 issue titled The new face of Europe.
Marco P. Valli is an Italian photographer born in 1989, Monza. He began to approach photography after graduating in 2009 at the Art Institute in Monza. In 2010 he attended the “Accademia delle Belle Arti of Brera” and then he specialized during 2011 at the school of photography CFP Bauer in Milan.
In March of the same year he began a period of internship at CESURA, an independent group of photographers founded in 2008 that produces photographic projects ranging from reportage to documentary and research photography, in which he mainly followed the work of the artistic director of the group, Alex Majoli. After this period he joined the group as a photographer and internal collaborator. Marco was part of Cesura until 2016, producing both personal and collective projects.
In November 2017, after some years of research on the theme of sexuality, Marco, together with Anna Adamo, published his first book on cesura publish: “Bakeca”, a photographic research project on exhibitionism related to expressions of sexuality.
In 2018, together with photographer Luca santese, he developed the “Realpolitik” project, a satirical analysis of the Italian political situation after the elections of 4 March 2018. The work has been published periodically through a series of volumes (Boys Boys Boys, Popolopopolo, Lega Nord Party, Slow Movement).
Marco’s works have been published in national and international magazines, such as Time, Vogue, L’Espresso, Libèration, Vanity Fair, Internazionale, Vice, Il corriere della sera and Il Sole 24h.
Luca Santese studied at Monza’s Art institute and at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan. While attending the academy he worked like assistant in Alex Majoli’s studio and in 2008 he founded the collective Cesura: an independent group of photographers aimed to create photojournalism, documentary and artistic research projects. In 2009 he was selected by Photolucida Critical Mass as a new talent. In 2010 he was selected by the World Press Photo prizewith the project Detroit 2009-2010 and in the same year he exhibited for the first time the project Found Photos in Detroit at Le Bal Space in Paris, to which followed exhibitions at the Kulturhuset in Stockholm, at the OGR in Turin and at the MoCP in Chicago and numerous further international exhibitions. In 2012 he published the Found Photos in Detroit book with Arianna Arcara. The book has collected seven nominations as the best photographic book of the year and was selected by Martin Parr and Garry Badger for the series: Photobook: A History Vol III, which collects the 200 best books after the second world war.
The curatorial experience of Found Photos in Detroit continued in the Italy & Italy project, a book that collects a selection of images of the city of Rimini in the 90s: the breakdown of the Berlusconi’s Italy in its maximum worldly fulfillment.
Nowadays, He continues to deal with experimental documentary photography as in the recent projects Realpolitik. Santese’s work has been published and exhibited in Europe, Russia and the United States.
Cesura was founded in 2008 as a collective of photographers determined to live on photography. United in this effort, they have created an independent group able to produce their own documentary, experimental, individual and collective projects.