25 May 2021
25 May 2021 - Written by Giuseppe Oliverio
Last week we inaugurated the second show arising from our Mobile Photography Prize. It documents the first wave of the pandemic from an introspective point of view and it marks the re-opening of our gallery in Bologna, Italy.
All images from INSIDE - The Exhibition, currently on display at PHmuseum Lab
Could we ever have imagined the world stopping one country at a time? China initially. Then Italy and Europe, followed by the Americas and the rest of the world. Within a few weeks, our planet was blocked by an unexpected phenomenon. As of April 2020, more than 3.9 billion people - about half of the world's population - were being asked by their governments to stay indoors to prevent the spread of a pandemic.
One year later, the group exhibition INSIDE - Home, family and community in this period of transition wants to remember those moments and the emotions we felt when it all started. Shot exclusively with mobile devices, the photos presented in the exhibition - thanks to the PHmuseum 2020 Mobile Photography Prize - form a circular narrative that follows two main lines. The first one is a documentation of what happened. A mosaic of life under the first global lockdown in the history of mankind. The second brings us back to our innermost feelings and reminds us how this experience is changing our lives to the point of making us reconsider our values and the relationship with affection, work and priorities. Two narrative lines that often intertwine, leaving us with some fundamental questions. What world do we want to live in when the pandemic is over? Is this the time to review our strongest beliefs and reimagine the future again?
Even with the current restrictions, more than 200 friends came visit us at PHmuseum Lab over the opening weekend. We all enjoyed an exhibition itinerary that begins in a suspended environment that takes inspiration from the embrace room, that solution designed to guarantee human contact in safety to the guests of the nursing homes. In the center of the room, there is instead a table with 30 prints representing fragments of those months with which the visitor is invited to interact by wearing disposable gloves and changing their order. At the end of the room, a lightbox that reminds us of the moments of waiting we experienced and that acts as a passage point to the second room, presenting 4 more large-format lightboxes, an installation consisting of 80 images and a video projection. A more introspective context characterized only by the lights of the screens that invites us to reflect on what we have experienced and on what to change now that the world is restarting.
INSIDE is an inner journey narrated thanks to smartphones and mobile devices. Tools that have allowed us to document and share an unprecedented historical moment that occurred at the beginning of a fundamental decade, of which we will perhaps remember how we had to stop to understand the past and rethink the future. The show represents the first steps towards the PHmuseum Days 2021, our first photography festival that will happen in Bologna, Italy on 23-26 September. Stay tuned, come join us for INSIDE - The Book presentation in June, and get ready for the next exhibition focusing on Maria Lax's work Some Kind Of Heavenly Fire.