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Graziano Arici. Oltre Venezia ‘Now is the Winter of our Discontent’

December 17, 2022 – May 1, 2023

Over 400 photographs, taken between 1979 and 2020. Exhibited for the first time in Italy is the artistic production of Graziano Arici, a photographer born in Venice in 1949 and settled in Arles, where he has lived since 2012.

More than forty years of shots are presented in the great exhibition promoted by the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice and the Réattu Museum in Arles, France, from 17 December 2022 to 1 May 2023, realised thanks to the support of the Veneto Region, with the contribution of Banca Intesa Sanpaolo, Banca Mediolanum and the Venice International Foundation and the patronage of the City of Venice, the City of Arles and the French Institute Italy .

Graziano Arici’s personal work is of a high-quality aesthetic, intellectual and technical richness that compels admiration” – Daniel Rouvier, curator of the exhibition together with Ariane Carmignac and director of the Réattu museum in Arles, says – “it cannot be limited to a simple documentary view of the world, a testimony to its evolution, wealth and shortcomings. This pervasive theme does exist, but he transcends it, making each of his images a photographic work in its own right from an aesthetic and emotional perspective”.

The exhibition Graziano Arici. Oltre Venezia. ‘Now is the Winter of our Discontent’ (opening sentence from the soliloquy in Shakespeare’s Richard III, Act I, scene 1), presents an archive of the world (Albania, Germany, England, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Spain, the United States, France, Georgia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland), a ‘state of things’.

And the Fondazione Querini Stampalia that hosts it is also a place of photography: a centre for photographic documentation, especially on Venice, and for the study of the history of photography. Its photographic collections, which gather almost 3,000,000 images, are a tale of the world and of perhaps the most represented city in the world. In 2017 Graziano Arici donated his Archive – more than one and a half million of images, consisting largely of his own work but also of thousands of photographs, prints and tens of thousands of negatives of portraits and images of international culture in Venice before his work began – to the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, that is committed to its preservation and enhancement. This donation has prompted other photographers to choose the Foundation as a point of preservation and valorisation of their work.

Since the beginning of his career, in 1979, in parallel with the reportages he made for numerous Venetian photographic agencies and institutions, Graziano Arici has pursued a personal production, which is now being presented for the first time in Italy, at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, after the great success in Arles, with the exhibition at the Réattu museum in 2021.

After decades of working for famous press agencies, with this exhibition project Graziano Arici emerges as a great photographer. The exhibitions at the Réattu museum in Arles and at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia today are not retrospectives, but starting points, bringing a work and an artist to light.

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