Indoor: Kassel 1972 – Documenta 5 through the eyes of Elisabetta Catalano | 26 July – 30 September 2021

Kassel 72 - mario-merz

Galleria Paola Verrengia proposes the project of the monographic exhibition dedicated to the photographer Elisabetta Catalano (1941-2015).

The title Documenta 5 through the eyes of Elisabetta Catalano is the result of the discovery in the Elisabetta Catalano Archive (with which the Gallery has for some time an intense collaboration) of a precious group of photos, mostly unpublished. The proposal is that of a journey (also guided through the preparation) within one of the most famous and significant editions of the international review Documenta, made through the sharp and sensitive eyes of a great photographer who worked with relentless perfectionism.

In 1972 Elisabetta Catalano traveled to Kassel for the legendary edition directed by Harald Szeemann, Documenta V, which marked a vital moment of the seventies. The event took place from 30 June to 8 October and occupied the two historic spaces of the New Gallery and the Museum Fridericianum.

By carefully selecting the photos proposed in the exhibition project, we try to reconstruct the vital climate and energy that characterized that famous edition of Documenta. A rich nucleus of photographs presents the works of Mario Merz (the spectacular installation in the staircase trumpet with the Igloo Fibonacci, 1971 and Acceleration=dream. Numbers of Fibonacci neon and ghost motorcycle, 1972) and the intense performances of Jannis Kounellis (the dancer in front of the painting with the musical score that seems to include it) and Vettor Pisani (the naked body of the sister to The sliding, celibate machine that Mima the Great Glass of Duchamp), Ben Vautier, living sculpture among his writings and the war scene of the German artist HA Schult.

But Elisabetta Catalano also photographed the American hyperrealists Duane Hanson and John De Andrea (present in the exhibition curated by Amman) as if they were true performances. A specific section of Documenta V is dedicated to Self-representation/Performance /Information. The years of the performance’s affirmation and Catalano “manages to give particular iconicity to the ephemeral processuality of the performance.” (Laura Cherubini)

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