STUDIO DABBENI
Gianni Melotti

Gianni Melotti (1953), Florence, Italy.

He studied art and photography in Florence.

From 1974 he worked as a professional photographer at art/tapes/22, Maria Gloria Bicocchi’s video-art production house in Florence.  Here he documented the video research of numerous international artists including: Giuseppe Chiari, Bill Viola, Chris Burden, Daniel Buren, Douglas Davis, Alvin Lucier, Urs Lüthi, Gérald Minkoff, Jean Otth, Nam June Paik, Charlemagne Palestine, Giulio Paolini, Arnulf Rainer, Sandro Chia, Takahiko Iimura and Terry Fox.  The original backstage photographic material and still frames of art/tapes/22 are preserved in his archive and consist of over 2000 photos.

During the same period he photographed the activities of the Zona non profit art space in Florence where, on several occasions, he began to present his own artistic research. 

From 1975, together with his activities of photographic documentation linked to performance and avant-garde theatre, he concentrated his attention on the relationship between photography, the dark room development process and art, taking part in international exhibitions and numerous publications.

In 1985 he began to realize the series of silicon sculptures which had the appearance of square paintings in a frame called Pelli/Pellicolein transparent polymer and, subsequently, the monochrome series Pigmenti which included pure natural pigment.

From the early Nineties he produced works in different types of clay or in stone, in which the subject was a faithful three-dimensional representation, in the same scale, of the new digital technological instruments that have invaded our daily lives.

The subject of his research has always been the representation of the image.  He constantly uses photography or other instruments of reproduction to make recordings in order to subsequently hand the subject back in the form of different meanings.  His work is a reflection on images as they manifest themselves, as they are perceived, as they are discussed and remembered.  In reality there are no differences in technique (between the photographed object and the sculpture) just the context in which that given visual, imaginative, procedural experience takes place.

In recent years, with the production of numerous series of photographic works, he has continued his dialogue, examining in greater depth the relationship between the attention of the act of looking and the expansion of the instant.  

In 2011 he took part in the “Video Medium Intermedium” exhibition in Venice, curated by Bice Curiger, where his photographs of art/tapes/22 owned by the Venice Biennale’s Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee (ASAC)-Historic Archive of Contemporary Arts were displayed. 

In 2013 he took part in the “Parole, parole, parole…” exhibition at the Museo Pecci in Milan.

Since 2014 some of his photographs have been part of the permanent collection at the Museo Novecento in Florence.

In 2017 over a hundred photos related to the years at art/tapes/22 went on display in Palazzo Strozzi as part of the “Bill Viola. Rinascimento Elettronico” exhibition.  The same year saw the publication of the book art/tapes/22 video tape production (Giunti Editore).

 

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