Ambiguity of the Lens: Body, Image, Identity


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11 Ferdinando Scianna

Ambiguity of the Lens: Body, Image, Identity

€ 3.00
Saturday 28 May 2011 6:30 pm
teatro Bolognini 2

Nothing is more abstract or elusive than our identity; but at the same time nothing is more exposed to other people’s judgment, more concrete and visible. Our body, beginning from our face, is the first image of our identity. For almost two centuries, photography has been closely intertwined with our very idea of identity. We all carry a picture of our face stuck on some document we call identity card. In our family picture books, in our wallets and purses we carry picture of our dear ones: children, partners, fiancés, parents and even pets. The emotional relationship we have with those pictures is so complex that we are sometimes led to reject a portrait in which we do not recognize ourselves. Yet we are often surprised to see that pictures of ourselves that we used to hate look surprisingly better just a few years later.




Ferdinando Scianna, one of Italy’s leading photographers, started his career in the 1960s while he was a student of Humanities and Philosophy at Palermo University. In 1963 he met the Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia, and together they published the first of their many joint books, Feste religiose in Sicilia, that received the Nadar Award. Henri Cartier-Bresson introduced him to Magnum and he was hired by the agency in 1982. Since 1987, Scianna enjoys international renown owing to his work as a photo reporter, a portrait artist, as well as a fashion and advertising photographer. In the last few years he began writing critiques and articles for Italian and French media. His books include: Marpessa, un racconto (Leonardo, 1993); Altrove: reportage di moda (Federico Motta, 1995); Viaggio a Lourdes (Mondadori, 1996); Altre Forme del Caos (2000), La Geometria e la Passione (2009), Baaria, Bagheria (con G. Tornatore, 2009) for Contrasto; Etica e fotogiornalismo (Electa, 2010); Lo specchio vuoto. Fotografia, identità, memoria (Laterza, 2013); Piccoli mondi (2012), Ti mangio con gli occhi (2013), Visti & scritti (2014), In gioco (2016) for Contrasto.

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