On Photography traces the artistic and institutional decisions that have influenced the Camera Austria association. Since its founding in the mid-1970s as an association of Austrian photographers, the group has had an important place in the European photography world, putting on exhibitions and symposia on topics in photography and, since 1980, publishing the magazine Camera Austria International. Operating through a network of photographers, academics and art critics from all over the world, Camera Austria has come to function like a laboratory shaping photographic culture. At the center of the book are the photographers that Camera Austria has worked with, whether in exhibitions, at symposia or in the magazine―among them Robert Adams, Nobuyoshi Araki, Lewis Baltz, William Eggleston, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Seiichi Furuya, Luigi Ghirri, David Goldblatt, Nan Goldin, Zofia Kulik, Tatiana Lecomte, Susan Meiselas, Peter Piller, Walid Raad, Michael Schmidt, Allan Sekula, Ahlam Shibli, Lieko Shiga, Manfred Willmann and Tobias Zielony.

Paola De Pietri first learnt of World War I at school and from family members who recounted historical facts through personal experiences – experiences that are in danger of being forgotten. In To Face De Pietri preserves these memories in a series of photographs of the alps between Italy and Austria, a landscape that still bears the scars of trench warfare from nearly a century ago. De Pietri’s subtle, unassuming images show a landscape once damaged by man is now being reclaimed by nature. Born in Reggio Emilia in 1960, Paola De Pietri is a major figure in Italian photography. She has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and Turin’s International Biennale of Photography among other institutions. In 2000 De Pietri’s work was included in the “New Italian Landscape” exhibition at the Electra Foundation in Paris.

Beat Streuli uses techniques from photojournalism, advertising and documentary filmmaking for his photographs, videos, and slides. His main interest lies in capturing the expressions and gestures of people absorbed in their daily lives on the streets of large metropolises. The Result is a series of interesting portraits of contemporary society, collected in the pages of this fourth catalogue in the “Sightings” series, that, for the exhibition at GAM of Torino, have been made in the cities of Torino, Chicago, East Jerusalem, Enghien and Yamaguchi.

“Non è importante che il fotografo sappia vedere, perché la macchina fotografica vede per lui”: attraverso il fertile concetto di inconscio tecnologico, Franco Vaccari sviluppa un profondo lavoro di “scardinamento” dei condizionamenti visivi che limitano le potenzialità della fotografia. Nei suoi scritti, cosi come nelle sue “esposizioni in tempo reale”, l’artista dimostra che quando la macchina fotografica non viene utilizzata in modo forzatamente “artistico”, ma viene lasciata agire come strumento in grado di produrre registrazioni e memorie autonome, essa favorisce il sorgere di comportamenti, relazioni, funzioni fondamentali per la definizione del significato stesso della fotografia nella civiltà contemporanea. Gli scritti di Vaccari qui presentati in edizione più ricca e completa delle precedenti (1979; 1994) offrono una stimolante elaborazione teorica complessivamente incentrata sul tema di una civiltà – la nostra – tutta basata sulle merci, sulla comunicazione, e avvolta nelle immagini.

Il libro, sorto dall’iniziativa di due istituzioni italiane, il Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea e Linea di Confine per la Fotografia Contemporanea, intende studiare e porre in relazione le molte produzioni fotografiche nate negli anni, le diverse figure di artisti, dai maestri ai giovani, la diversa natura dei progetti; capirne le ragioni storiche e il significato nella contemporaneità, nonché i legami, non cosí immediati per la fotografia italiana, con lo scenario internazionale; tentando infine un primo bilancio che possa agevolare ricerche e approfondimenti successivi.

Swiss artist Beat Streuli (*1957) takes the urban environment and its inhabitants as the central motif of his work. His photographs are neither documentary nor conceptual: rather they lead us to a form of aesthetics that one could describe as the “glamour of the usual.” This monograph is a survey of his oeuvre of the last 15 years, which includes billboards and large-scale window installations on the facades of public buildings, and a selection of his installations of slide and video projections. Streuli by Streuli: an extensive image sequence mostly taken by the artist himself documents Streuli’s rejection of the classic museum exhibition context. Instead he takes the photographs back to their place of origin—public space. With newly commissioned texts by Raymond Bellour, Roberta Valtorta, and Jonathan Watkins.

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