Anonymous pictures found in street markets tell who we were

The exhibition “Lost and Found” at the Arcipèlago space in Udine explores the importance of vernacular photography, images that tell who we really are.

Ferdinando Scianna always said that the highest ambition for a photograph is to end up in a family album. To become part of people’s most private history. 

The creative space Arcipèlago in Udine inaugurated on December 4th “Lost and Found”, an exhibition dedicated to this kind of images. They are found photographs, taken from the collection of Cristian Malisan, who for years has been recovering – we can say ‘save’ – photographic material, prints, negatives, rolls, slides found in local markets.

“Mine is not strictly a collection,” explains Cristian Malisan. “I don’t collect these images because they are well made or because sooner or later I hope to find the film from Capa’s D-Day. This is rather a mission: I want to save these families from the erasure and oblivion of time.”

They are anonymous photographs, orphans because their author is unknown, they do not bear a signature and were not taken for artistic ambitions. Yet they exist, and they build an immense archive of collective memory.

“Lost and Found”, Udine, Spazio Arcipèlago, from December 4th 2021 to January 22nd 2022. Open every Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and by appointment during the week. 

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