The word Alarum is the old spelling of the English word alarm, signifying a signal or warning for an incoming danger and a call to arms to face it. Fear is often associated to something negative, an unpleasant emotion. However, this feeling can be a useful signal which alerts us that something is wrong. We fear what could hurt us, what threatens our identity or what could endanger our very own existence. Whilst fear can be a powerful tool which can be used to manipulate, it can also provide an occasion to bring people together to face a compelling danger. In this selection of photographers sourced from the open call for the open-air exhibition ‘Alarum’, which took place in Berlin in May 2019, we would like to develop the concept of “fear” as something constructive, a signal that something of our time needs to be changed.
Working with photography and visual arts often leads to a questioning of the role of images in shaping contemporary society. How can images contribute to the creation and visibility of counter-narratives? And can these image-based counter-narratives efficiently go against current nationalist narratives? What are the limits of the power of images? Whilst these questions are not directly answered in the space of the exhibition, the showcased photographers offer a glimpse into the current conditions that cause us to fear for our future, providing an opportunity to reflect on our relationship to nature, politics, power - and photography.
Ardesia Projects is a curatorial platform dedicated to contemporary photography, founded in 2016 by Michele Amaglio, Benedetta Casagrande and Dimitri D'Ippolito.
Ardesia has a three-fold aim: to unburden artists from production costs, promoting economically sustainable work relationships, to create a positive platform for artists to network, meet and support each other, and, lastly, to create a discursive bridge between the Italian and European photographic landscape.
The trio has initiated Tempesta Creativa / Creative Storm (2016-ongoing), a series of monthly peer-review sessions that take place in Milan (IT) and Brighton (UK), the artist residency In-Between Shores (2018, IT), and curated the exhibitions SCREENED, Brighton Photo Fringe (2016, UK), The Sky Opens Twice, JEST (2018, IT), Rottura di Superficie, B#S Gallery (2018, IT), Creative Storm: Curate with Us, Brighton Photo Fringe (2018, UK), Atlas of Forms, Soft Power Palace Festival (2018, DE) and Alarum, open-air exhibition in Tiergarten, Berlin (2019, DE).