November 20, 2020 - MAN Museo d'arte della Provincia di Nuoro - Lisetta Carmi: Voci allegre nel buio - Merry voices in the dark
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November 20, 2020

MAN Museo d'arte della Provincia di Nuoro

Lisetta Carmi, Nuoro, 1962. © Lisetta Carmi-Martini & Ronchetti.

Lisetta Carmi
Voci allegre nel buio - Merry voices in the dark
Photographs from Sardinia 1962–1976
December 4, 2020–March 7, 2021

MAN Museo d'arte della Provincia di Nuoro
Via Sebastiano Satta, 27
08100 Nuoro NU
Italy

T +39 0784 252110
info@museoman.it

www.museoman.it
Facebook / Instagram

Curated by Luigi Fassi and Giovanni Battista Martini

Lisetta Carmi was born in Genoa on 15 February 1924 into a family of Jewish origin. Due to the Italian racial laws, she was forced to leave school in 1938 and to seek refuge in Switzerland with her family. In 1945, at the end of the war, she returned to Italy and completed a diploma at the Conservatory in Milan. Over the following years she embarked upon an intense career as a classical pianist and held concerts in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Israel.

In 1960 she stopped her concert career and developed an interest in photography, which soon became her new profession.

In December 1965 she went to Paris and this trip led to Métropolitain, an artist’s book containing a series of shots taken in the Parisian metro. Her commitment to photography continued with numerous trips to Israel between 1958 and 1967, then to Latin America in 1969, before heading East, where she visited Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. Over the following years, Lisetta Carmi abandoned photography and devoted all her time to building the Bhole Baba ashram in Cisternino in Puglia, where she still lives today.

Merry Voices in the Dark explores an as yet unpublished chapter of Lisetta Carmi’s photography—her work dedicated to Sardinia, made up of hundreds of black-and-white shots taken between 1962 and 1976 during numerous and repeated visits to the island. Lisetta Carmi came into contact with Sardinia in the late 1950s by following Italian writer Maria Giacobbe’s column in Il Mondo magazine about her experiences as a primary school teacher in Orgosolo. During her first visit in 1962, Carmi went to Orgosolo to meet the children described by Maria Giacobbe for herself, telling the story of the harsh living conditions in that area through her images.

Carmi’s relationship with Sardinia intensified progressively from that first trip: she expanded her interests, going on to explore the world of Sardinia through its inhabitants, working life and the role of women.

During her career as a photographer, Lisetta Carmi primarily documented existential marginalization, testifying to situations of subalternity and poverty with respectful participation and an intense humane interest. In Sardinia too, Lisetta Carmi, as always in her work, did not predetermine the details of her shots, but pursued the creation of a narrative flow dominated by her focus on people, their faces and their lives.

The exhibition is accompanied by an unpublished series of colour slides dating to 1976 – the year of Carmi’s final visit to Sardinia, that show the landscapes of the Sardinian inland, where woods, rivers and lakes are captured in their more arcane and evocative dimension.

The exhibition is completed by two sections dedicated to the series Transvestites (1965–71) and Genoa-Port (1964), two of Carmi’s most celebrated projects. The project at MAN is accompanied by an extensive catalogue (Marsilio, Venice, Italy) comprising texts by Luigi Fassi, Giovanni Battista Martini, Nicoletta Leonardi, Ètienne Bernard.

For press enquiries please contact:
PCM Studio di Paola C. Manfredi Milan: www.paolamanfredi.com  T +39 02 36769480

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