Zero Photography

exhibition and workshop

At the beginning of December 2012, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, in cooperation with Steve Bisson, curator and founder of Urbanautica, online photography magazine, brought together Italian photographers Luca Capuano, Laura Demarco, Giuseppe De Mattia, Cristian Guizzo, Milo Montelli, Corrado Piccoli, David Wilson, Brit Mitch Karaturatne, Canadian David Pollock, Belgian Kirsten Trippaers and the Spanish researcher Ruben Alonso in a workshop at casa Luisa e Gaetano Cozzi of Zero Branco (Treviso) to survey the surrounding agricultural landscape.

This intensive work, carried out over one week, is recounted for the first time through images and videos in the exhibition Zero Fotografia, designed by architect Massimiliano Foytik. The title almost provokingly urges the visitor to reflect on the contribution that photography offers to our interpretation of the landscape and, more in general, what surrounds us.

“Because, first of all,” says Steve Bisson “the answer is rather simple and lies in what we see everyday looking out of a train or car window when travelling from one old town to another. The “B side”, the landscape that underwent an unprecedented, intensive cementification treatment during the second half of the Twentieth century . The reasons and outcome of this extremely rapid and often disorderly transformation of the agricultural landscape have been examined by scholars from various backgrounds. It goes without saying that Fondazione Benetton has provided a number of contributions on the topic. In spite of this, the process continues unabated, albeit mitigated by the crisis of the construction industry, regardless of electoral arguments and debates. In the meantime, however, in Veneto and other regions of Italy, a growing circle of photographers, many of whom are also architects, has started critically surveying this phenomenon through photography. And it is not merely a reaction to the collective sense of powerlessness one feels upon witnessing the proliferation of the “industrial shed-epidemics” or new “Mousetons”. There is more — a need to witness, tell and put on record what is going on. There is a wish not to exchange ideas with experts alone, but with lay people as well, and to do so with new languages, more immediate yet never trite. For a few years now, Urbanautica — an online photography magazine launched in the Treviso area and the first independent contemporary photography publisher worldwide — has taken on the role of spokesperson for this new movement, also in regard to the region’s institutions”.