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February 2024

On the road Until April 11th 2024,

Spazio Labo’: a new books display in dialogue with the exibition HUN by Julia Mejnertsen

We have brought to Spazio Labo’ a new selection of books curated by Michael Trutta, who has chosen in Leporello a series of volumes that dialogues in various ways with the exhibition Hun, by Julia Mejnertsen, curated by Laura De Marco, and with the bibliography that has partly guided Laura’s research. On view through April 11, 2024!

For the second photobookclub event, to be held on March 4, we have chosen from Michael’s selection of

MOM, by Charlie Engman.

Julia Mejnertsen’s HUN Project is a layered account of the author’s relationship with her mother and her greatest passion, hunting. She describes in nine chapters the conflicting nuances that result from this ancient activity and how Western society has altered our relationship with nature over time.
The book selection that accompanies the exhibition goes to focus on the different aspects that emerge by vivisecting Mejnertsen’s book maquette. Starting with the underlying theme, we find, for example, Trophy and Treasure (Snoeck, 2017) by Francesco Neri, which goes similarly to Mejnertsen’s account of the relationship with one’s parent and hunting, or Nsenene (Edition Patrick Frey, 2021) by Michele Sibiloni and HORSE (The eriskay Connection, 2021) by Heleen Peeters, which speak of the exploitation and killing of animals for food; the theme of hunting is presented in a more subtle way in Justine Kurland’s SCUMB Manifesto (MACK, 2022), in which the artist cuts out and recomposes the photobooks of male authors, preying on predators; but especially in Odette England’s Woman wearing ring shields face from flash (Skinnerboox, 2023), in which the camera-gun metaphor, also central to HUN, is presented, whereby images, like bullets, are also violent devices. HUN is also a occasion for reflecting on the particular relationship between the author and her mother, just as Ahndraya Parlato uses Who is Changed and Who is Dead (MACK, 2021) to dissect the complex theme of the death and birth of mother, grandmother, and daughters, or as in Edward Steichen’s historical exhibition catalog The family of man, family is spoken of in a totally different and glossy way, as if the world were one big happy family. HUN’s maquettes are schematized in chapters, a strategy favored by Anne Geene & Arjan De Nooy in Ornithology (De Hef, 2017) and many of their other works; Julia Mejnertsen mixes documentary images with intimate portraits with drawings and illustrations, while Enrico Pantani in Developments (Skinnerboox, 2021) combines family photos with his paintings that attempt to reconstruct and acknowledge his own past; Giulia Iacolutti and Marangoni 105’s I don’t care (About Football) (Bruno, 2023), on the other hand, joins HUN for the masked, hidden, cropped subject of the image.
Finally, it is important to remember how much reading and study influence every choice, from conception, to shooting, to design: Susan Sontag’s Davanti al dolore degli altri (Nottetempo, 2021) is central because it speaks of the relationship with death and its representation, what is or is not ethical to do. This is a selection that invites one to reflect on the endless possibilities that books offer: they allow similar themes to be presented in totally different ways and very different themes in similar aspects, allowing one to promote imagination through visual, temporal, thematic juxtaposition.
The books were chosen for a particular motivation that could be traced back to the starting project, but often times a further connecting motif emerged, yet another, and so on, making reading and analysis a continuous discovery, highlighting how categories and subdivision criteria (such as even the nine chapters of the HUN maquette) are often pretexts for broadening vision.

List of books – thematic groups

Hunting

Trophy and Treasure, Francesco Neri, Snoeck, 2017

Older than love, Martina Zanin, Self-published, 2021

HORSE, Heleen Peeters, The Eriskay Connection, 2021

The Killing Sink, Matt Dunne, Void, 2022

Nsenene, Michele Sibiloni, Edition Patrick Frey, 2021

Hunting (metaphorically)

Woman wearing ring shields face from flash, Odette England, Skinnerboox, 2023

SCUMB Manifesto, Justine Kurland, MACK, 2022

On animals and nature

Animal Book for Jaap Zeno, Lous Martens, Roma publications, 2021

A sensitive education, Francesca Todde, Départ pour l’Image, 2020

Mining Photography-The Ecological Footprint of Image Production, Boaz Levin, Esther Ruelfs, Tulga Beyerle, Spector Books, 2022

Relationship with mother/family

MOM, Charlie Engman, Edition Patrick Frey, 2020

Who is Changed and Who is Dead, Ahndraya Parlato, MACK, 2021

The hero mother, Peter Puklus, Witty Books, 2021

The family of Man, Edward Steichen, MOMA, 2016

I made them run away, Martina Zanin, Skinnerboox, 2021

I can’t stand to see you cry, Rahim Fortune, Loose Joints, 2021

Language

 

I don’t care (About Football), Giulia Iacolutti, Marangoni 105, Bruno, 2023

Do insects play?, Johanna Tagada, Chose Commune, 2019

Sviluppi, Enrico Pantani, Skinnerboox, 2021

ON ABORTION, Laia Abril, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2017

Snow, Vanessa Winship, Deadbeat club, 2022

Ornithology, Anne Geene & Arjan De Nooy, De Hef, 2017

Essays

Gli animali di Calvino, Serenella Iovino, Treccani, 2023

Davanti al dolore degli altri, Susan Sontag, Nottetempo, 2021

Sul guardare, John Berger, Il Saggiatore, 2017

L’animale che dunque sono, Jacques Derrida, Rusconi libri, 2021

Le piccole persone, Anna Maria Ortese, Adelphi, 2016Il bonobo e l’ateo, Frans de Waal, Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2013

Books selection

By Michael Trutta

Hours and Infos

Spazio Labo’

Strada  Maggiore, 29, 40125 Bologna BO