Luna Belotti from Bergamo, Luca Annaratone from Rome and Giorgia Dal Molin from Milan will exhibit their site-specific photo reportage in the museum at an altitude of almost 2,800 metres, created side by side with a team of Nikon Creators.
The award ceremony and opening of the new exhibition will take place on Saturday 2nd September.
Cortina d'Ampezzo, 21st August 2023_ The lunar landscape combined with manuscript pages has left a mark. Luna Belotti, a student at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bergamo born in 2001, is the winner of this edition of the Lagazuoi Photo Award New Talents. "Certe Mattine" (Some mornings), the narration of five days spent on Mount Lagazuoi with her companions, set up like a modern "Carnet de Voyage", impressed the jury, consisting of Elisabetta Illy, photographer, managing director and founder of Picture of Change, Roberto Bachis, head of the Nikon School and Training Specialist, and Stefano Illing, founder of Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti.
Luca Annaratone and Giorgia Dal Molin, respectively students of the Officine Fotografiche di Roma and the Istituto Italiano di Fotografia di Milano, were joining Luna on this adventure. And like Luna, they lived in symbiosis with the rain, the rocks, the blinding sun and the low-hanging clouds on Mount Lagazuoi with the camera around their necks. Their artist residency has produced three individual projects, as well as a story that was shared on social media. The success of this initiative is an encouragement to continue on this path, looking forward to the 2024 edition.
The exhibition of the three projects will open on Saturday 2nd September at the Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti, the highest exhibition centre in the Dolomites, at the top station of the Lagazuoi cable car. For almost a week it has been the home of the young people who participated in this experience, and will now display their creative visions. The inauguration of the exhibition will be a public event by reservation only (with a free cable car ride for accredited participants). On the programme: the ribbon cutting and the awarding of the winner, in the presence of the protagonists of this artist residency, the students and creators.
After the inauguration, around noon, there will be a journey into the past in the Open-air Museum of the First World War on Mount Lagazuoi: a re-enactor wearing the uniform of the 3rd Regiment of the Tiroler Kaiserjäger will take visitors on a tour to discover life on the front line, exploring trenches, tunnels and military emplacements.
From the artist residency to the exhibition: the story of the protagonists
The participants, selected students from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bergamo, le Officine Fotografiche di Roma e l’Istituto Italiano di Fotografia di Milano, were supported in their journey by three tutors, professional photographers from the #NikonCreators team. Together, they created a four-handed work, supported by the technology and instruments provided by Nikon. People who did not know each other have formed a temporary community, have become a group that has bonded during the day on the hiking trails and at night in the guest quarters at the top station of the cable car.
"My project ‘Certe Mattine’ (Some Mornings) was born directly from sharing this journey with the other guys," states Luna Belotti, the winner. "I come from a painting background and have never been able to build such a strong artistic and human bond before. It is a privileged situation a situation that motivates you to give your best". The artist residency remains engraved on memory as an artistically fruitful period. "We lived in timelessness, without watches, in the midst of a landscape that - also thanks to rain and fog - enveloped us in a surreal, dreamlike way. I chose to combine writing, photography and painting to enhance this feeling and achieve a correspondence between the subjective level and the environment. These mountains are different from those I was used to, and I fell in love with them".
The whole group experienced this love at first sight, even literally, recounts the young cameraman Luca Annaratone, who worked with analogue film and developed it at altitude. "One day, the loud clap of thunder paralysed us with fear and taught us great respect for the forces of nature," he explains. "Those five days awakened a passion for the mountains in me and filled me up with an energy that I still feel. Together with my companions, I could consider the weather, the equipment and the distribution of the weight in the backpack, and ponder how certain elements such as light and landscape align at the moment of the shot.
Through the 'Dololaga' project, I decided to recount the profound contact between the mountains and man, to be understood as a historical presence, also based on our explorations in the tunnels of the Great War, which were an important moment of this journey'.
Unlike her companions, Giorgia Dal Molin was already familiar with this region, as she is from Belluno. Nevertheless, she was equally impressed by the experience. "For me, Mount Lagazuoi was 'only' a destination for day trips. The long stay changed my relationship with the landscape," she recalls. "When all the tourists returned to the valley and we were alone up there, we felt as if we owned the world. This immensity became ours, and we were jealous of it. Every evening we exchanged impressions, images and ideas, getting into a constant flow of inspiration essential to our task. And it is precisely the dialogue that is at the heart of my 'A forza di essere vento' (Constantly windswept) project, linked to the concept of emotional legacy. That means the ability to transmit through the landscape, by osmosis, feelings and thoughts, such as respect, awe and admiration for these extreme landscapes, and the need to preserve them. My father taught me these lessons, and now they have come back to the surface".
Mattia Bonavida, a coordinator of the Nikon Creators team, enthusiastically recounts this adventure. "It was an absolute, all-embracing experience: five days in complete autonomy, immersed in a majestic and unknown place that changes constantly and very quickly, depending on the time of day and the weather," he recalls. "We gave everything and got even more back because we were faced with students who were curious, open and willing to question themselves. On Mount Lagazuoi, you learn to tell what you experience and see, between early awakenings, waking hours in the night, long waits and brightenings. In this environment we were pushed to think differently, to step out of our comfort zone and move to find effective solutions, as individuals and as a group. Thanks to our Nikon equipment, we were able to overcome many technical limitations and shoot in extreme conditions, for example, photographing a sparkling Milky Way.
WHEN: from 2nd September to 22nd October 2023
VERNISSAGE: on 2nd September
11 a.m.: prize-giving and ribbon-cutting
at noon: visit to the WW1 Open-air Museum with a historical reenactor
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Lagazuoi EXPO Dolomiti is one of the highest exhibition centres in the world, situated at an altitude of 2,732 metres, in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO heritage site, halfway between Cortina d'Ampezzo and Alta Badia. It is an innovative venue and exhibition gallery of international significance that hosts a rich schedule of events, exhibitions and projects dedicated to photography, past and contemporary art, and the history and prehistory of the area.
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