On 29 July 2021, in the main rooms of CAMERA, Walter Niedermayr. Transformations, a solo exhibition by Walter Niedermayr (Bolzano, 1952), opens to the public. Through a focus on a body of works created over the last twenty years of his career, the show explores the theme of changes in space.
Curated by Walter Guadagnini, with the collaboration of Claudio Composti and Giangavino Pazzola, the exhibition features the last twenty years of artistic research by one of the leading contemporary Italian photographers. Through the recurring themes of his work such as Alpine landscapes, architecture and the relationship between public and private spaces, the artist’s interest in investigating places not only from a geographical but also from a social point of view is highlighted. Although in continuity with the legacy of the Italian photographic tradition, which views the landscape as the key to interpreting society, Niedermayr’s visual research is significant in terms of its ability to reinterpret this subject and renew it from both a conceptual and a formal point of view. For the South Tyrolean photographer, physical space today cannot be approached with an exclusively documentary intention, but as the pivot of a transformative relationship between ecology, architecture and society. In some of the works in the Alpine Landschaften (Alpine Landscapes) series, for example, the presence of man in the depiction of the landscape is interpreted as a parameter for measuring the proportions of Alpine panoramas, and at the same time as a political yardstick for his intervention in the metamorphosis of the natural equilibrium. This topic is also underlined in works such as Portraits, where the snow cannons filmed during the summer season – and thus inactive – become ambiguous presences residing in the landscape.
With around fifty large-format works, often presented in the form of diptychs and triptychs and characterised by low-contrast and neutral tones, the exhibition tells us about the simultaneity of human and non-human activities that coexist and come to an uneasy balance, one in constant change, as the series Raumfolgen (Spazi Con/Sequenze) shows.
The exhibition also includes two previously unpublished diptychs created following a commission at the beginning of the year that allowed Niedermayr to take shots on the building site of Palazzo Turinetti in Turin, which will become the fourth venue of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Gallerie d’Italia. Due to open in early 2022, the museum will be dedicated mainly to photography and video art. The presence of these images once again reflects the collaboration between CAMERA and Intesa Sanpaolo – a Founding Member and Institutional Partner of CAMERA – through which the exhibition Nel mirino. L’Italia e il mondo nell’Archivio Publifoto Intesa Sanpaolo 1939–1981 was held.
A catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale accompanies the exhibition.
The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Ncontemporary gallery in Milan and with the support of Ediltecno Restauri, Building S.p.a., Sipal S.p.a, Pro-Tec Milano, GAe Engineering and BMS Progetti.
Walter Niedermayr (Bolzano, 1952) is a photographer and artist whose work has investigated the intense and ambiguous relationship between man and the environment since 1985. Since 1988, he has exhibited his photographic and video works in public institutions, museums and galleries. His work has been exhibited in prestigious institutions and cultural events including Fotografia Europea in Reggio Emilia (2018), Aut. Architektur und Tirol in Innsbruck (2017), Galéria Mesta Bratislavy in Bratislava (2015), Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Paris (2012), Fondazione Fotografia in Modena (2011), Museion in Bolzano (2004), Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart (2003), Centre pour l’image contemporaine in Geneva (2000), White Cube in London (1998), Vorarlberg Museum in Bregenz (1992) and numerous other public and private spaces. His latest series, conceived during the 2020 lockdown and commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, is on display at Palazzo Barberini in Rome. His works have also been presented in the past in group exhibitions, including those at MAST in Bologna (2017), MAXXI in Rome (2016), the Venice International Architecture Biennale (2014 and 2010), Fotomuseum in Winterthur (2013), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo and the Denver Art Museum (2011), Manifesta7 in Bolzano (2008), Centre Pompidou in Paris (2006), MART in Rovereto (2003) and many others. The artist’s works are to be found in numerous international collections, including MoMa in New York, Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, MAXXI in Rome, MOCA in Los Angeles, Fondation Cartier in Paris and the Intesa Sanpaolo and UBS Art Collection. Between 2011 and 2014 he taught artistic photography at the Libera Università of Bolzano.