October 13, 2005 - Galleria Gottardo - Family Pictures
October 13, 2005

Family Pictures

Family Pictures: Contemporary Photography and Video from the Collection of the Guggenheim Museum
28 September – 23 December 2005 

Galleria Gottardo
Lugano Switzerland


Artists in the show:
Janine Antoni, Patty Chang, Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Dijkstra, Anna Gaskell, Loretta Lux, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tracey Moffat, Catherine Opie, Thomas Struth, Hellen van Meene, Gillian Wearing
Photography has always been used to preserve fleeting moments of childhood and to fix important family events. Many contemporary artists explore traditions of family portraiture in order to present a more revealing image of family dynamics and the emotional tone of childhood. Galleria Gottardo Banca del Gottardo’s cultural foundation will present an exhibition of works from the photography and video collection of the Guggenheim Museum. Organized by Jennifer Blessing, curator at the internationally renowned Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, it opened on 28 September and includes works by important contemporary artists such as Janine Antoni, Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Dijkstra, Anna Gaskell, Loretta Lux, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie, Thomas Struth, Gillian Wearing and others.

An ongoing collaboration between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, through the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and the Galleria Gottardo in Lugano, has resulted in two exhibitions, “Il ritrovo degli artisti” (2001) and “Spiritual Landscape” (2003). The Galleria Gottardo is pleased to host a third collaborative exhibition, entitled Family Pictures, in its intimate and family-friendly environment. This exhibition includes a selection of images, at times provocative and ironic, that show the paradoxes of family life and what lies beneath the surface of its traditional representations.

Who among us does not have an album of family photographs hidden away in a corner of our bookcase? From our earliest childhood to that of our grandchildren, photography documents and immortalizes the events of our lives, and ultimately becomes the principal means by which we remember and preserve our past. These images, seemingly banal, assume extraordinary importance for us. As we look at them, we remember our childhood and this gives form to the image we have of ourselves and of our family.

Conceived as a giant photo album, Family Pictures displays the work of artists exploring the theme of the family portrait and, above all, a picture of childhood, thereby examining the common ideas and places that are associated with this subject. Some artists approach the topic using a documentary style, while others create fictional situations that have the appearance of normality, and thus totally manipulate reality without necessarily feeling obliged to present a harmonious and stereotypical cohesion. The artists choose rather to show nuances of the “real family” by revealing unspoken elements that often rankle, things that one would prefer not to talk about because they spoil the image of the “happy family”. In psychoanalytical terms, the themes that these artists confront have to do with the relationship between parents and children, the definition of the sexes and of sex roles, and the definition of the ego, not to mention memories of childhood, which are at times traumatic.
Family Pictures has the power to lead viewers to compare their own lives with certain aspects that are bravely revealed by these images. These are images of a somewhat unconventional family, but that ultimately, for some of us, could also seem very familiar.
Galleria Gottardo: Galleria Gottardo, a cultural foundation of Banca del Gottardo has been organising exhibitions since 1989, with the collaboration of museums, cultural institutions and collectors. In over 15 years of quality exhibitions it has explored human activities pointing at the innumerable facets of art and photography, of ethnography and archaeology, of design and peculiar objects that throughout the years have become the fount of interesting collections and publications. Bearing in mind the geo-linguistic position of our region, the Galleria Gottardo sets itself as a meeting point, a crossing and exchange point between Northern and Southern cultures. Its publishing activity has attained great importance within the framework of its production especially as far as texts and page proof are concerned and the quality of its catalogues. The Galleria Gottardos strong point is its availability to dialogue which allows it to find important partners for the realisation of new projects and start long-lasting collaborations.
Opening Hours: Tuesday 2pm 5pm, Wednesday Sunday 11am 5pm; Closed Mondays Admission: Free
Catalogue: Family Pictures, ed. Galleria Gottardo, bilingual Italian and English is available at Galleria Gottardo and distributed by Gabriele Capelli Editore, Mendrisio-Switzerland (www.directions.ch)
Galleria Gottardo
Viale Stefano Franscini 12
6900 Lugano, Switzerland
Tel. 41 91 808 1988
Fax 41 91 808 2447
galleria@gottardo.com www.galleria-gottardo.org
Press Office for Italy:
Via Natta 22
I – 22100 Como
Tel. 39 031 269 393
Fax 39 031 267 265

Galleria Gottardo
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