De werkelijkheid vind je op straat: Nino Migliori, fotograaf (1926)

Cefalù, from the series Gente del Sud.

Als tweeëntwintigjarige amateur begint hij rond 1948, de nadagen van het Italiaanse neorealisme, te fotograferen. Een land dat zich van zijn facistisch verleden probeert te ontdoen, geïnspireerd op het Russisch (communistisch) model, op zoek naar een nieuw humanisme. Het leven in eigen handen nemen, een nieuwe maatschappij opbouwen, waar menselijkheid en gelijkheid centraal staan. Ik denk niet dat het zo duidelijk zijn bekommernis was, maar in die atmosfeer van het neorealisme begrijp je het succes van zijn vroeg werk dat tot op de dag van vandaag niets van zijn oorspronkelijkheid heeft verloren. Nino Mogliori, geboren in Bologna in 1926 en nu nog steeds als 95-jarige actief.





Uit de series Gente del Delta
The country was engaged in throwing off the repressive shackles of a fascist regime, an idealistic pursuit not lost on its photographic community. Migliori and his fellow documentarians pledged to expose the human condition and all its foibles, replacing romanticism with wit and humanity. Traveling to the southern regions to expose the pride of its people and the prejudice under which they toiled symbolized a rite of passage for Migliori and for other photographers of the postwar generation. Migliori also documented a traditional way of life in the North that would soon be transformed by modernization. The charming old-world ambience of its towns and the marvelous characters strolling its streets are a fascinating study of a culture on the precipice of change. (Keith de Lellis Gallery)
Series gente del Sud 1956

Hij is geen beroepsfotograaf, maar een werkelijke ‘amateur’, iemand die zich met het onderwerp verbindt: hij loopt soms enkele dagen met zijn camera zonder film rond om zijn onderwerpen aan zijn aanwezigheid te wennen, en kan dan in volle vertrouwen zijn foto’s maken.

My work has always been what you might call explorative. I joined the  photographers’ club in Bologna after the war and set out to discover  new people and places. We were able to enjoy the simple things that had  been missing during the war years: walking along streets, making new  friends, eating in their homes, going dancing. 
 I had to do other jobs to earn a living, but my free time was  dedicated to photography. I travelled to southern Italy and lived with  families for weeks at a time, eating with them and getting to know them.  Initially they were very aware of the camera and would stop and pose,  but after a while they relaxed and the images became more natural.
Gente del Delta, 1958
Gente dell’ Emillia 1957
In the 1950s he took images that documented the life and inhabitants of his region, then collected in Gente dell’Emilia and Gente del Delta series. In 1956 he left for the South and crossed Campania, Basilicata and Calabria. Migliori experimented the formula of collective portrait in exteriors and he established a personal linguistic solution in the interpretation of a reality investigated in those years by Italian and foreign photographers.
Dalla serie Gente dell’ Emillia
I spent a lot of time with Italian painters, too. I wanted to see how  they worked, what motivated them. In particular, I became good friends  with Tancredi Parmeggiani, who was close to Peggy Guggenheim.  He introduced me to her in Venice and I started taking pictures of her.  Many of them now hang in the Guggenheim museums in Venice and New York.
 I was at Peggy’s home the day Jackson Pollock’s  first drip painting arrived in Italy. It was an enchanting experience.  Nobody had ever seen anything like it. We celebrated and all got drunk  while looking at it.(The Guardian)

Ik wil deze bijdrage beperken tot zijn vroege werk. Na de jaren vijftig begint hij het materiaal zelf te onderzoeken. Hij experimenteert graag met oxidatie, fotogrammen, bewerkingen op het negatief zelf, enz. Boeiende zaken die echter meer ‘het effect’ als onderwerp hadden in plaats van het ‘affect’ al beweert hij zelf dat net die experimenten zijn fotowerk verzoent met zijn zoeken naar helderheid en nieuwe vormen van communicatie via het beeld.

I used to experiment with every single aspect of photography: paper, development, fixing, light, color. I studied anything I was interested in: I tested how color changed with shutter speed and paper oxidation, I let drops of water run down film before printing, creating what I called “hydrograms”…
Member of the Scientific Committee of the Photography section of the CSAC in Parma, he fervently continued his experimentation activities. From 1986 onwards he often devoted himself to teach in schools of different levels and in museums, such as the recent experience of the workshop at the nest of the MAST Foundation in Bologna (2014-2016). Since 2006 he has been working on the Lumen series, with highly innovative works realized “by candlelight”. He started this cycle with Terra incognita. Lo zooforo del Battistero di Parma and he still continues it today. In 2016, the Nino Migliori Foundation was set up to protect and enhance the Emilian artist. In 2017 he was elected Academic of Honor by the Accademia Clementina. Some of his works have recently been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Er zijn natuurlijk zijn iconische foto’s die wereldwijd verspreid zijn. Een van de meest bekende is ‘de duiker’. Il Tuffatore (1951)

Il Tuffatore 1951
I took this in Rimini  in 1951. Back then, it was a popular seaside destination for people  from Bologna, since it was affordable and easy to get to. My parents had  taken me a lot when I was a boy, because the sea air helped my asthma.  But by then I was 25 and rarely went to the beach any more.
 That day, I wandered around the town before going to the port, to  watch the people and the passing boats. There were some boys playing on the dock, joking around and throwing each other in. They would go there  every Sunday and have diving competitions, landing on their bellies and  making a big splash. 
 These two boys were brothers. The younger one is sitting down, while  the other has tried to run, jump and dive over him. It was very  difficult as he only had about two or three metres to build up speed.  The other boy kept his head down to avoid being knocked. 

Mijn keuze viel op de prachtige foto van de ‘Portatore di Pane’ uit 1956. Op de achtergrond de zonnige straat, maar dichtbij een jongen die de balk met broden veilig op hun bestemming wil brengen, zijn ogen nauwelijks open, moe van het nachtelijk werk, geduldig wachtend. En in diezelfde vermoeidheid het slapende kappersjongetje, verborgen bijna achter de zetel in slechte staat.

Portatore di Pane, 1956
Il garzone del barbiere 1956
"Are words art in and of themselves? I don’t think so. But some people know how to use them artistically: “M’illumino / d’immenso” (“I illuminate (myself) / with immensity”, one of the most famous poems by Ungaretti – editor’s note) are a few simple words, yet they are pure art. The same dynamics occurs in photography. Two photos are all you need to express a wonderful, original concept that can be poetic, cultural, philosophical, or even artistic.”
Periferia 1950

Beelden die mij bijblijven omdat ze ‘met de mens te doen hebben’. Ze brengen mij, in deze tijd van maskers en afstand, steeds weer mededogen bij met wat ons in dit korte leven overkomt. De manier waarop wij met de werkelijkheid van onze beperkingen geconfronteerd worden, maar ook de mogelijkheden om het speelse, de ontsnappingen uit het alledaagse, een plaats te geven. Zoals op deze prachtige foto’s waarin een aanval met blaaspijpen wordt uitgevoerd in een straatje : de aanvallers in de luwte van de schaduw, de verdedigers in het zonnige raam. Een stripverhaal.

I Ragazzi della Via

Of ‘la voce della madre’ circa 1950 waar je door naar de gezichtjes te kijken de stem van de ‘mama’ hoort , een merkwaardig document. En daaronder een venstertje in de nacht. Maar bekijk de beelden nog eens: het wordt weer morgen. Ook nu nog.

La voce della madre, circa 1950

https://www.keithdelellisgallery.com/exhibitions/nino-migliori/selected-works?view=slider

en bezoek de Fondazione Nino Migliori: