The diptych Platinum Print "Traces on the Flaming Mountains", 2017 and the installation of 13 photograph "Silk Ambition" 2017, both part of the series "A New Silk Road" initially featured as a portfolio in the pages of The New Yorker, will be on show at Heillandi Gallery boots during Photo London.
LONDON, 17-20 MAY 2018 SOMERSET HOUSE.
For more than 15 years Davide Monteleone documented the events and the daily life in Russia and the former Soviet Union. Apart from many assignments and personal projects Davide Monteleone has collected a selection of photos, a sort of a personal diary, depicting his time in the region during these years. A selection of these small prints, part of his personal archive, is presented at the exhibition "Vento Dell' Est" at NONOSTANTEMARRAS in Milan. In occasion of the last week of the exhibition (closing April 7th 2018) a selection of 30 prints 18x18cm is offered on sale for a limited time.
"Reindeer were clustered on the ground, shaking and panting. Patches of their fur seemed to have fallen off, leaving them splotchy; the animals were emaciated, their ribs visible." A report by Noah Sneider and my photos on a mysterious illness affecting Russia’s reindeer on the April issue of Harper's Magazine.
My latest together with Noah Sneider for The Economist about the Russian teens. "Those born the year Mr Putin first came to power. They will all have spent their entire lives in Putin’s Russia, and will be eligible to vote for the first time this year. that grow up under Putin presidency"
Quante possono essere le trame possibili in un racconto? E quante in un racconto visivo? Caduta e ascesa e il suo contrario, ossia ascesa con ricaduta. E lo scheletro delle tragedie classiche e shakespeariane: caduta, ascesa e ricaduta. Quella di Davide Monteleone è una trama appassionante che, con uno sguardo originale e un punto di vista molteplice, prende in considerazione le relazioni tra il sé e le mutate condizioni dell’esperienza umana. Tutte le sue fotografie cercano di stabilire confronti, misurare distanze, constatare fratture.
“War is Only Half the Story” is a ten-year retrospective of the work of the groundbreaking documentary photography program, The Aftermath Project, which for a decade has supported post-conflict storytelling by some of the world’s best photographers. As a grant-making educational non-profit, The Aftermath Project was founded to help change the way the media covers conflict – and to educate the public about the true cost of war and the real price of peace.
"In the fall, the photographer Davide Monteleone traced stretches of one of the land routes, travelling from Yiwu, in the southeastern province of Zhejiang, to Khorgos, home to one of the world’s largest dry ports, and to Aktau, in Kazakhstan, on the Caspian Sea."
"Issue #7866" begins all the way back in 1917 with Moscow-based Italian photographer David Monteleone’s new book The April Theses, an immersive retracing of Lenin’s journey back to Russia from political exile in Zürich. Uncovering notes, bills and letters enabled the photographer to re-imagine a near step-by-step route, going so far as to dress in a suit similar to one Lenin might have worn, growing his beard, and adopting his stance to assume his role, in photographs taken in places Lenin would have travelled through.
uali sono le radici di una rivoluzione? Cosa è accaduto nelle ore immediatamente precedenti e successive al ritorno di Lenin in Russia, evento che ha determinato lo scatenarsi della Rivoluzione d’Ottobre, uno degli eventi storici più cruciali di sempre? Nel centenario della Rivoluzione Russa, dialoghiamo con Davide Monteleone, fotografo documentarista e autore del libro The April Theses (Postcart, 2017) che ricrea la cronologia delle due settimane che hanno preceduto la diffusione delle celebri “Tesi di Aprile” di Lenin e Guido Carpi, professore di letteratura russa all’Orientale di Napoli e autore del volume Russia 1917 (Carocci, 2017).
Dal 16 al 29 novembre - SPAZIO FONDO MALERBA
via Alberto Mario, angolo via Monte Rosa – 20149 Milano
Orari: Inaugurazione, giovedì 16 novembre, ore 18 – 21.30 venerdì 17 : dalle 14 alle 20.30 sabato 18 e domenica 19 : dalle 11 alle 19.00 dal 20 al 29: su appuntamento, chiamando al +41 91 921 11 oppure scrivendo a email@example.com
The International Master in Documentary Photography with Davide Monteleone is addressed to all those who have a photo project or a defined idea to develop and it aims at helping the students in facing documentary photography practice through its professional, technical, creative, theoric and ethical aspects.
The April Theses
Nel Marzo del 1917, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin), leader del partito rivoluzionario Bolscevico lasciò la Svizzera, dove era stato esiliato. Otto mesi dopo assunse la leadership di 160 milioni di persone occupando 1/6 della superficie abitata del globo. Il 9 aprile 1917, con il supporto delle autorità Tedesche, all’epoca in guerra con la Russia, tornò nel paese natio su un treno, attraverso Germania, Svezia e Finlandia fino a raggiungere la Stazione Finlandese di San Pietroburgo il 16 aprile dove, dopo un decennio in esilio, prese in mano le redini della Rivoluzione Russa.
Un mese prima, lo Zar Nicola II era stato estromesso dal potere quando le Armate Russe si erano unite alla rivolta dei lavoratori a Pietrogrado, la capitale russa. In un documento a punti, conosciuto come “Le Tesi di Aprile”, Lenin chiede il rovesciamento del governo provvisorio e delinea la strategia che, nei sette mesi successivi, porterà alla Rivoluzione d’ottobre e darà il potere ai Bolscevichi. 100 anni dopo, Davide Monteleone ricrea la cronologia delle due settimane di vita di Lenin prima degli eventi che hanno cambiato per sempre la Russia e il resto del mondo.
Alla ricerca del documento originale de “Le Tesi di Aprile”, Monteleone ricostruisce, e a volte ricrea, in un viaggio fisicamente reale, il viaggio epico di Lenin, inspirato dai documenti d’archivio trovati al R.G.A.S.P.I. (Russian State Archive of Soviet Political History) e a libri storici che includono “To Finland Station” di Edmund Wilson e “The Sealed Train” di Michael Pearson. Il risultato finale è una collezione di paesaggi contemporanei, fotografia forense di archivio e auto-ritratti posati che ripercorrono un viaggio nel tempo e nello spazio. La mostra è composta da una selezione di stampe dal libro “The April Theses” (Postcart 2017) presentata sotto forma di installazione.
Ispirato al capolavoro di Richard Avedon “In the American West” (1985) e al continuo fascino della Transiberiana, Monteleone guarda alla Russia per interrogarsi sul futuro del paese. Emulando Avedon nella tecnica e nei contenuti, Monteleone crea un parallelismo geografico e temporale tra Stati Uniti e Russia in un momento storico incerto nelle relazioni tra i due paesi. Come Avedon, si concentra sulle persone semplici, lontane dai centri del potere e, come moderni Oblomov, disinteressati ad esso. I protagonisti dei ritratti (discendenti di cacciatori d’oro e di pellicce, figli di sopravvissuti ai gulag, Ebrei dell’Israele Siberiana e, persino, eredi di imperi millenari come i Buriati o i mongoli di Gengis Khan) diventano icone della Russia contemporanea.
Le mostre “The April Theses” e “In the Russian East” sono realizzate in collaborazione con la galleria Heillandi di Lugano.
Guided tour Spasibo with Davide Monteleone - September 23rd, 18:00, following book signing "The April Theses".
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, separatist movements in Chechnya started a fierce fight that would lead to the country’s independence from Russia. In 1999, in a climate of terror and continuous attacks, the Russian army launched an offensive, described by then president Vladimir Putin as “counter-terrorist”, which flattened Grozny, the largest city in Chechnya. In an area in collapse, where the economy, industries and infrastructure were already devastated following years of fighting, the military invasion caused still further destruction and started a war that would last ten more years. The result of the Second Chechen War was the creation of the Republic of Chechnya, to all effects and purposes a dictatorship run first by Akhmad Kadyrov and then his son Ramzan, a leader installed by Putin and loyal to the Kremlin. Grozny, now the capital, is a «ghost city», writes Moscow-based journalist Masha Gessen, «the ghosts of those who died in the war or disappeared – every family has a brother or father who left home and never returned.»
These are the opening words of Gessen’s contribution to Spasibo, a monograph by Davide Monteleone who travelled to Russia on several occasions from 2001 and to Chechya in 2013. Today the Chechens are a people whose identity is crumbling away in a process of extinction marked by a kind of violence that stops being physical and becomes psychological. The armed conflict is over, the separatist groups, accused of terrorism, are pursued by the law, and the Chechen people can enjoy a certain freedom from Russia, profess their Islamic faith and speak the language that once was banned. Yet peace is only apparent. Lives swing between a «comfortable stagnation», as Davide Monteleone says, in which «everything is controlled by the authorities», and the desire to reappropriate a present that needs to be recreated. The repressive propaganda regime forces the Chechens to choose between conformity and martyrdom. The new generations are watching the obliteration of a collective memory that cuts off the possibility of political, social and cultural alternatives.
In Spasibo, Davide Monteleone tells through his photographs of a reality divided between metaphor and ambiguity, the ghosts of the past and the compromises of the present, the new Chechen identity and the silent disappearance of recent times. The title itself underlines this ambiguity. Spasibo means “thank you” in Russian and could mean the end of the armed conflict after decades of bloodshed, or it could recall how the ceasefire depends on a compromise with the authorities, who offer the Chechen people survival by repressing them.
«Thanks, Ramzan, thanks Russia. Spasibo.»
Palazzo Martuzzi, Sala Allende
Corso Vendemini, 18
«Dear passengers this where the world comes to an end, and the train will be going no further.»This is the message – poised between legend and reality – that can be heard over the loudspeakers on the train when it arrives at Vladivostok from Moscow. A reawakening from a 9000 Km journey across Russia.The Trans-Siberian is not a train; it’s a route. Two parallel steel tracks that run the length of the biggest country in the world, from Europe to Asia, from Moscow to the Pacific. Everything meets on these tracks – faces, accents, body shapes, men, women, children, adventurers and families. This is a journey in space and time, and in the history too, of a country as turbulent as a sleeping volcano: Siberia, “the sleeping land”. Here in two parallel worlds, on the train and off the train, lives unfold and run into each other now and again, as well as at the stations. Speed and the same time become deformed. Like a time machine, the train sets up its own and imposes it on the passenger. The time the journey takes. Journey time. People who take on this adventure do so because they’re fascinated by the places, but they soon discover that what really matters is the people they meet. Someone who is more sensitive to and ready to accept the variegated nature of humankind understands this benefit even before getting on the train. Such is the case of Marco. «I don’t want to read» he writes on the first page of his diary. «I want to get into the journey, totally.» And follows this with: «I can’t go anywhere.» Marco, as anyone who knew him knows, and anyone who didn’t knows from the photographs he made, was that kind of traveller, an adventurer who looked for thoughts and meetings in preference to places, and those he chose, those far from home, were often unwelcoming and annoying, places you pass through and transit; Underground says it all. Places where you find human beings with no distinctions drawn. This was the “material” that interested Marco, and the Trans-Siberian was no exception. People travel on these trains for work, to go and find friends and relations who live thousands of kilometres away. Travelling on these trains, where people eat, sleep and confide in strangers for days on end, is often uncomfortable, unpleasant. On these trains, too, developed the humanity of the Russian people, their soul, the soul Marco so wants to meet. In these photographs I recognize the Russia I encountered over ten years ago, and I recognize Marco, whom I met a few months after his Russian adventure, a little before he left on his final journey. In these images you can feel his desire for contact and relationships throb, despite the difficulties in communicating. Virtually every one of them is the outcome of an encounter, an attempt at dialogue and comprehension, both individual and mutual. There’s complicity in them, even though it bubbles up for just a few seconds. Marco does not hide, sneaking his shots. His footsteps and movements aren’t silent – maybe his thoughts and his desire to understand are – but you can almost imagine his uproarious smile when he immortalizes the girl who shows off her breasts, and the sudden snap to immortalize the blonde girl who is selling chandeliers on the platform. Many of the things that are so loveable in Marco’s photography, and that ought to be sought in photography as a whole, are to be found here. These images are encounters before they’re talked about, splendid examples of sincere, honest photography that makes no claim to explain anything but simply tries to understand. Passengers are advised that this where the world comes to an end, but do not listen to the message on the loudspeakers. Wake up out of your dreams, wake out of your journey to start another. There will always be another train. When you get down to it the destination is not important. «The traveller is the journey» as Fernando Pesso said. «What we see is not what we see but who we are.» A journey is our time and photography at bottom is nothing else than a way of capturing time and space in unison. Ghosts and memory saved forever by the light. Marco knew that well.
curated by Davide Monteleone
In occasione della Mostra Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr, (8-28 Settembre 2017, Villa Reale - Monza.) Sony organizza alcune serate a tema «Conversazione sulla fotografia»
La fotografia documentaria
Davide Monteleone racconta la sua esperienza di fotografo e documentarista, soffermandosi sul suo ultimo libro “The April Theses" in cui ripercorre l'epico viaggio, nell'aprile 19017, di Vladimir Lenin dal suo esilio di Zurigo a San Pietroburgo per prendere le redini delle sommosse che porteranno, pochi mesi dopo, alla Rivoluzione Bolshevica e sconvolgeranno la storia della Russia e del mondo intero.
One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, Lenin Lives, co-curated by Lia Newman, Gallery Director/Curator, and Roman Utkin, Assistant Professor of Russian Studies, explores the afterlife of one of the most enduring and spectacular personality cults of modern history – the worship of the first Soviet leader, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov – Lenin (1870-1924). As the myth of the immortal Lenin developed, the image of the Revolution’s iconic leader became, not ironically, larger than life. For the rest of the tumultuous twentieth century, Lenin came to embody the idea of communism and the Revolution itself.