Curated by Roberto Koch and James Nachtwey
I wanted to be a photographer in order to be a war photographer. But I was driven by an inherent sense that a picture that revealed the true face of war would almost by definition be an anti-war photograph.
James Nachtwey[…] we should stop calling him a “war photographer.” Instead, look upon him as a man of peace, a man whose longing for peace makes him go to war and expose himself… in order to make peace. He hates war with a passion, and loves mankind with even more of a passion.
Wim Wenders (Laudatio for J. Nachtwey, Dresden, 2012)
James Nachtwey’s much awaited exhibition “Memoria” will open at Palazzo Reale in Milan on the 30th November 2017, as the first showing of an international tour that will take the exhibition to the most important museums worldwide. The exhibition offers a remarkable individual and collective reflection on the theme of war. Curated by Roberto Koch and James Nachtwey himself, it is an original production and the greatest retrospective ever made of his work. It is promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan – Culture, Palazzo Reale, Civita, Contrasto and GAmm Giunti. It will be on show until the 4th March 2018.
“The clashing contrast between the beauty of images taken by James Nachtwey and the horror of his photographic subjects has a strong impact on viewers – stated Filippo Del Corno, Councillor for Culture of the Municipality of Milan – However, this is precisely how the perverse and suicidal effects of war can be communicated to all those who, irrespective of their observation point, have no direct experience of it. That is why Nachtwey’s work is not only a beautiful art exhibition, but also a graphic depiction of commitment to civilisation and peace”.
James Nachtwey, who has won many awards in different fields, not just in photography, is universally considered Robert Capa’s heir. With his high moral standing and civil commitment, he has devoted his whole life to documentary photography on the most extreme conditions in human life, often very close to becoming hell on earth. He is the epic witness to the cruelty of war, as testified by the photos on exhibit at Palazzo Reale. “Memoria” is an exhibition featuring the photos of the most important photo-reporter of the last few decades, where through the alternating light and darkness an endless dance is performed. Nachtwey is an extraordinary observer of our contemporary world, as well as its most acute witness.
Nachtwey has consistently photographed pain, injustice, violence, and death. In order not to loose touch with the most suffering and lonely people in the world, he decided to follow beauty and formal completeness. The extraordinary beauty of his photographs works like a tool of struggle, a gesture of compassion before scenes like in Bosnia, in Mostar, where a sniper is taking aim through a bedroom window. Or when he reports on the famine in Darfur, or TBC, or the terrible effects caused by Orange Agent in Vietnam. Among his most iconic images, there is the survivor of a Hutu concentration camp in Rwanda with his multiple scars, as well as pictures of the Second Intifada in the West Bank, where Nachtwey was on the front line. He has been portraying war for 40 years, showing what happens to people who experience it first hand: that very war that on 9/11 reached “home”, on US soil, with the attack on the Twin Towers, followed by the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Nachtwey’s images, we see mankind wounded by violence, devastated by diseases and hunger, by nature going awry.
Arranged in seventeen different sections, the two hundred photos on display in the various rooms offer visitors a wide selection of James Nachtwey’s most significant reportages: from El Salvador to Gaza, from Indonesia to Japan, Romania, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, the United States (including the extraordinary testimony of the 9/11 terror attack) and many other countries. It ends with a very topical reportage on immigration in Europe: “Memoria” collects the shots with which Nachtwey tells us about the cruelty of war, the violence of terror, and the empty look of despair.
Exhibition Sections – Titles War Facts; Balkans and Chechnya; Romania; Hunger; Rwanda; 9/11; Afghanistan; Iraq; South Africa; Natural disasters; Pollution in Eastern Europe; The caste of the Untouchables in India; Indonesia; Drugs; Orange Agent; Crime and Punishment in the US; AIDS, Exodus.
“I have been a witness. I have witnessed people who have had everything taken from them – their homes, their families, their arms and legs, their sanity. And yet, each one still possessed dignity, the irreducible element of being human. These pictures are my testimony“.
The exhibition contents are illustrated in a book-catalogue published by Contrasto and Giunti.
Title James Nachtwey. Memoria
Curated by Roberto Koch and James Nachtwey
Date 1st December 2017 – 4th March 2018
Venue Palazzo Reale Milan, Piazza Duomo 12
Exhibition by Municipality of Milan – Culture Palazzo Reale Civita – Contrasto – GAmm Giunti
Digital Imaging Partner Canon
Sponsors Fondazione Cariplo – Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia
Opening hours Monday: 2.30 p.m.-7.30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday: 9.30 a.m. – 7.30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday: 9.30 a.m. – 10.30 p.m. Ticket office closes one hour before exhibition closing time. Holidays Tuesday 7th December: 9.30 a.m.– 10.30 p.m. Friday 8th December: 9.30 a.m.– 7.30 p.m. Sunday 24th December 9.30 a.m.– 2.30 p.m. Monday 25th December: 2.30 p.m.– 6.30 p.m. Tuesday 26th December: 9.30 a.m.– 7.30 p.m. Sunday 31st December: 9.30 a.m.– 2.30 p.m. Monday 1st January: 2.30 p.m.– 7.30 p.m. Saturday 6th January: 9.30 a.m.– 10.30 p.m.
Exhibition information T + 39 199151121 www.palazzorealemilano.it firstname.lastname@example.org
Entrance Tickets STANDARD € 12.00 ticket (including audio guide) DISCOUNTED € 10.00 ticket for groups of minimum 15 and maximum 25 persons, for people over 65 years old, children and youth from 6 to 26 years old, disabled people, holders of the annual Musei Civici Milanesi Card, members of TCI Touring Club with card, members of “Lunedì Musei” (Museo Poldi Pezzoli and Museo Teatrale alla Scala), military personnel, off-duty Law Enforcement officers, teachers, holders of Giunti Card and Amici di Forma.
DISCOUNTED € 8.00 ticket holders of Musei Lombardia Card Milan Special discounted € 6 ticket for all types of schools, groups organised directly by
Touring Club and FAI (no booking fees will be charged to them), National Civil Service Volunteers with identification card, journalists with valid press card, special concessions, employees of the Municipality of Milan with badge (any other accompanying guest is subject to standard ticket payment), Civil Service Volunteers working within the Municipality of Milan with identification card.
DISCOUNTED FAMILY TICKET one or two parents € 10.00 each, with child from 6 to 14 € 6.00 each
FREE admission for children 6 and under, one leader per group, two accompanying teachers per school class, one accompanying person for each disabled visitor, one accompanying person and one guide for Touring Club groups, employees of Milan’s Department of Landscape and Architectural Heritage, journalists with valid press card accredited by the press office, ICOM members, licensed tourist guides with license card, employees of the Exhibition Dept. of Palazzo Reale, members of the supervisory board and Fire Brigades
Guided tours Groups € 100.00 Schools € 80.00 In a foreign language € 120.00
Admission Individual visitors: booking recommended Groups and schools: mandatory booking, min. 15 – max. 30 people
Booking fees € 1.50 for standard, discounted, group tickets € 1.00 for family, special discounted, and school tickets
Press Offices Valentina Notarberardino – 366 6678862 and Laura Bianconi – 3357854609 Contrasto
Anna Defrancesco – CLP – GAmm Giunti 02 36755700
Ombretta Roverselli – Civita 02 43353527 Press Office Municipality of Milan Elena Maria Conenna