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The golden age of Albanian photography and five other exhibitions at maison européenne de la photographie
Piazzale Flaminio, Rome, 1956 © William Klein.

PARIS.- The maison européenne de la photographie opened six exhibitions today.

Rome + Klein: Photographs 1956-1960
In 1956, after the publication of his already famous visual diary of New York, painter, graphic artist and photographer William Klein arrived in Rome at the request of Federico Fellini, who hired him as his assistant for the film “Notte di Cabiria”. Filming was delayed and Klein took the opportunity to wander around the city, armed with his camera and guided by such famous personalities as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ennio Flaiano, and Alberto Moravia: the new stars of the Italian literary and art world.

In the enchanting context of the 1950s, the photographer produced a new photographic series on Rome which was also to become a book, published in Italy in 1958 by Feltrinelli and in 1959 in France by Le Seuil.

Fifty years on, this exhibition, along with the republication of the book, once more celebrates Klein’s incredible visionary talent and his gesture of love for the Eternal City.

Fernanda Magalhães, Rogério Reis, Edu Simões: Three photographers from FotoRio
This exhibition features three Brazilian photographers whose work was displayed at the fifth edition of FotoRio. This festival, founded by Milton Guran, presents vintage and contemporary photographs from public and private collections and seeks to stimulate informed debate about Brazilian and international photography.

Fernanda Magalhães presents a series of images entitled “The Representation of the Fat Naked Woman in Photography”, addressing the taboos that surround the construction of the identity of overweight women, whose bodies are subject to denial and social invisibility.

Rogério Reis deals with ownership and copyright in his series “Nobody Belongs to Anybody”.

Edu Simões has taken photographs of construction workers’ lunchboxes in Saõ Paulo. This series, entitled “Gastronomy for a Hard Day’s Work”, forms a sociological study that focuses on a “hierarchy of content”.

The golden age of Albanian photography: The Marubi dynasty and the rhapsodists of light 1858-1945
Although Albania does not loom large in the history of world photography, it has a photographic heritage that is unique in the Balkans and which, until today, has been all but ignored both in the country itself and abroad.

This exhibition presents a century of outstanding and evocative pictures from a European country that has been exposed by the winds of history to eastern influences from the Ottoman empire. It features portraits of heroes or unnamed figures, studio compositions, landscapes, Christian and Muslim funerals, and scenes of daily life.

Albania, one of the toughest totalitarian regimes for almost half a century, is also the historic home of the aoidos or bards, wandering storytellers with inexhaustible memories whose origin goes back to the time of Homer. Worthy successors of these poets, the first Albanian photographers, rhapsodists of light, use pictures to tell the story of a world where history jostles with legend.

Vincenzo Castella: Une ville, une collection (A city, A Collection) Turin and the National Automobile Museum
This exhibition, organized by Agarttha Arte, forms part of the project entitled "Piedmont: a definition" which grows as pictures commissioned from major photographers are added to it. Vincenzo Castella was given carte blanche to produce an artwork devoted to the city of Turin and the National Automobile Museum. As he documents large European cities with near surgical precision, Vincenzo Castella produces almost panoramic views in colour that emphasize the independent life of buildings. For Castella, the city escapes all attempts at planning, spreading out freely, unbeknown even to its inhabitants. This kind of freedom cannot, however, be found in the National Automobile Museum. Faced with parfectly controlled architectural design, the artist changed his approach in order to highlight the twofold point of view that emerges every time a new cultural venue springs up in a city.

José Medeiros: Candomblé
This exhibition features a series of prints from an outstanding reportage piece made by José Medeiros in 1951 for the magazine O Cruzeiro. Entitled As Noivas dos deuses sanguinarios (Brides of the Bloodthirsty Gods), it covers an initiation ceremony that forms part of the Afro-Brazilian religion candomblé in the city of Salvador de Bahia. The photographs show the different phases of the ceremony: reclusion of novices, dances, incisions made in the scalp and on the arms, animal sacrifices, etc. When it was published, the piece was met with strong disapproval from many candomblé believers in Bahia, who saw it as a violation of its secrets and a profanation of sacred places. Despite this it was hugely successful and became a well known reference. Beyond the controversy, the photographs of José Medeiros remain some of the most important ever taken on this subject, and are now considered landmarks in Brazilian photography.

Martine Franck, Venus d’ailleurs (From Elsewhere): Painters and sculptors in Paris since 1945
Member of the Magnum agency since 1983 and president of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Franck began a series of portraits of artists in 1965. Focusing on artists ‘from elsewhere’ living in Paris since 1945, this series constitutes an illustrated encyclopedia of modern and contemporary art. The show features over sixty prints of painters and sculptors in their studios, from Pierre Alechinsky to Zao Wou Ki. These photographs reveal the vitality of the French art scene and the way Paris continues to attract artists

maison européenne de la photographie | William Klein | Federico Fellini |

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