050710: Brot Kunsthalle Massimo Vitali – A touch of summer

Brot Kunsthalle Massimo Vitali – A touch of summer 24.06.10– 28.08.10 “I want it as complex as possible” I remember how surprised I was about the aesthetic effect of a beach, packed with hundreds of half-naked (fat) bellies, when I first saw one of Massimo Vitali’s photographs – there is nothing more disgusting for me than the sight of half-naked overweight people. He has been producing these huge recreation-society-landscape photographs for the past 15 years - taken at beaches, near mountain lakes, or riverbanks, and often put together as a diptych or triptych. The secret behind these large-format pictures rendering pin sharp details is the large size of the colour-negatives: 20x25cm or 28x25cm. The artist has never seen so many of his photos assembled in one exhibition, as the one currently shown at Ernst Hilger’s Brot Kunsthalle. The viewer takes the position of a camera-lens and is an impartial observer of a socio-cultural phenomenon. Yet the distance is so large that the aesthetic principle dominates the documentary principle, and paradoxically, despite the detailed view of reality, the figurative ends up in a kind of abstraction: the sunshades, inflatable swimming gear and sports equipment turn into colour blotches on a pale-blue, beige, or green surface, and their random distribution – the self-organized chaos – turns into a compositional element. Viewed this way, Massimo Vitali’s images are a continuation of Georges Seurat’s “Bathers at Asnières” (1884) and “Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” (1886) - but with other means. …. Peculiar, how art captures the beginnings of the new trend of public bathing, and now – after the disaster of the last weeks – nearly its imminent end. No, oil-polluted beaches are not a topic for him, Vitali said. There would be too few people seen cleaning up - and that would not render a good photo. By Renate Quehenberger Brot Kunsthalle 1100 Vienna, Absberggasse 27 Tel: +43 1 512 53 15 /13 Fax: +43 1 512 53 15 / 32 email: brot@brotkunsthalle.com http://www.brothkunsthalle.com Opening hours: Thu – Sat: Noon – 6 p.m.

1100 Wien, Absberggasse 27
Tel: +43 1 512 5315 220, Fax: +43 1 603 0639
Email: brot@brotkunsthalle.com
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Sa: 12-18h

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