Curated by Jean-François Chevrier

At 7.15pm the exhibition’s curator, Jean-François Chevrier, gave a brief introduction to the exhibition and contextualization of Marina Ballo Charmet’s work.

The work of photographer and artist Marina Ballo Charmet, whose formal training is as a psychoanalyst, is centered on what she describes as “inattentive, unintentional observation, irrational and without direction”. This retrospective exhibition, curated by critic and writer Jean-Francois Chevrier, presented a selection of photographic and video works produced since 1995 that investigate a variety of subjects ranging from the ordinary and the mundane in the urban landscape to the human figure. Ballo Charmet’s work constitutes less an attempt to provide a pictorial rendition of these subjects than an endeavour to evoke the “unperceived” in our daily experiences. Her photographs of the urban landscape concentrates on shreds of the city: details of sidewalks, the upper levels of buildings that pulse in and out of the margins of our field of view; her exploration of the human figure concentrate on specific areas of the body, such as that between the breast and the mouth (the first field of view a baby becomes familiar with). The images featured in her Parks series – an ongoing project that has taken her to public parks in Milan, London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Madrid, Lisbon, Palermo and New York – are framed from a viewpoint close to the ground, revealing each park as its own universe. Ballo Charmet’s work is less an exercise in representation of her chosen subjects – whether they be details of cities, urban landscapes, portions of the human figure or parkscapes – than an investigation of how we perceive them.

About the Artists
Marina Ballo Charmet was born in Milan, where she now lives and works. After graduating with a degree in Philosophy, she specialized in psychology and child psychoanalysis. Since the early 1980s she has worked as a psychotherapist for Milan’s local health services department. From the mid-1980s on, she has also dedicated her energy to parallel projects and research involving photography and video.

Ballo Charmet’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at: Triennale, Milano, 2008; Centre National de la Photographie, Parigi, 1999; Fondazione Mudima, Milano, 1998; Ar/Ge Kunst, Galleria Museo, Bolzano, 1995; Stadtgalerie, Graz, 1992. Group exhibitions that have included Ballo Charmet’s work include: Post-It Cities, CCCB, Barcelona, 2008; Reality Crossing, Fotofestival Manheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg, Mannheim; Parco 2006-2007, Fotografia Europea, Reggio Emilia, 2007; Trans Emilia, SK Stiftung Kultur, Koln, 2006 and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, 2005; Des Territoires, Ecole Nationale Superieure ddes Beaux Arts di Parigi; Venezia – Marghera, CCA Montreal, 1998; Lei. Donne nelle collezioni italiane, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino 1997; Venezia-Marghera, XLVII Biennale d’Arte, Venezia, 1997.

Jean-François Chevrier is an art historian, art critic and exhibition curator. He is Professor in the History of Contemporary Art at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Through 30 years, his main centres of interest have been the exchanges between art and literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, modern and contemporary art, history of photography, and architecture. In his essays on photography, Chevrier has examined the place of photography within modern art, between the fine arts and the media. He published long monographic essays on Raoul Hausmann, Antonin Artaud, Walker Evans, Brassaï, Robert Doisneau, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Gerhard Richter, Öyvind Fahlström, Marcel Broodthaers, Herzog & de Meuron, Jeff Wall… among others.
Exhibitions and catalogues he has curated and co-edited include Une autre objectivité / Another Objectivity (1988-9), Photo-Kunst (1989-90), Walker Evans & Dan Graham (1992-4), Des Territoires (2001), Art and Utopia: Limited Action. Modern Art according to Mallarmé (2004-5).  He recently published a monograph on Jeff Wall (Paris: Hazan, 2006) and an expanded edition of his 1982 book, Proust et la photographie (Paris: L’Arachnéen, 2009).

See more photos of the exhibition here.