Fondazione Merz

Josef Koudelka. Traces

10 February – 15 April 2012


Curated by Lorenza Bravetta and Maria Centonze


in collaboration with Agency Magnum Photos

Fondazione Merz present Koudelka’s work through a selection of 12 large scale landscape photographs, and three videos that document three of his great projects, Invasion (1968), Gypsies (1975), and Chaos (1999), along with some of the most important books published throughout his career span.

For the first time on display, the 12 black and white panoramic photographs –part of the Piemonte Project that the Regione Piemonte commissioned to Koudelka in 2004 on the occasion of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games– reveal a land that is rich in culture, history, memories, and innovations, but at the same time full of strong contradictions. The photographs show a landscape from which the human presence has been removed, and yet the traces man has left behind are always visible.

“Koudelka’s body of work develops from his personal extensive investigation on European landscape. It features the absence of man from places where everything actually tells of his presence: the empty spaces are filled with cumbersome presences, with traces of more or less recent lives that integrate into the scenery, or bear witness to a mutual and perpetual rejection.” Maria Centonze

Featured in the exhibition are three videos that document three important reportages by the renowned photographer: Invasion (1968), witnessing the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968, Gypsies (1975) a chronicle of Gypsy life in Eastern Europe, and finally Chaos, a collection of great panoramic views that describe a landscape on which man has strongly intervened.