Show screen shot 2017 03 23 at 11.29.07 am© Alex Majoli

Exhibition

Мe, myself and EU

Alex Majoli


70 years of Magnum Photos - the international photographic cooperative


Opening

09.05, 18:00
Sofia Art Gallery

Exhibition

Мe, myself and EU

70 years of Magnum Photos - the international photographic cooperative


Majoli prefers dominant, excessive artificial lighting to sculpt the bodies and faces of passers-by, turning all of them into actors. Theater in real world is a topic that preoccupied Majoli's mind for a long time. Here he uses flash to flatten landscapes and transform them into two-dimensional sets. Speaking about the ideas, the exhibition explores contemporary social and political problems in Europe, the crisis of its identity. The author defines three main themes:

The emerging far right: Rise of the fiercely anti-immigrant, far-right parties such as France's National Front or the Danish People's Party played a key role in shaping the new image of Europe in response to migrant and refugee crisis. They receive a disproportionate share of media attention, which reinforces their theatrical role and their ability to influence the way the majority perceives the crisis developments.

The experience of individual migrants and refugees with European assimilation: dramatic scenes with migrants and refugees displaced by war and poverty in their homelands and arriving exhausted in southern European coasts and eastern borders - this is just a starting point in the long process of adoption and assimilation - or their absence.

Crumbling host societies: Conflicts in several layers of European society are played out in response to the refugee and migrant crisis. One main dividing line between Eastern and Western Europe comes to light, and raises important issues - whether countries like Hungary share similar values with Germany and Sweden? Tensions within European regions are visible - the arrival of refugees and migrants encounter harsh resistance in countries that have so far ranked among the most tolerant and receiving.

The main aim of the author is to weaken the viewer's perception of the reality, while drawing attention to the masks we all wear, playing our role in society. He experimented with pictures, that retain the DNA of photojournalism - in the narrow sense that their content presents events – but they bring an aesthetic that emphasizes our masks and their corresponding roles in their respective social context. 

Alex Majoli (born in Ravenna, Italy, 1971) is an Italian photographer. He graduated from the Art Institute in Ravenna.The main focus in the whole work of Alex Majoli is the human nature and the theater of everyday life. His professional career began with a series of photographs following the closure of the notorious madhouse on the island of Leros, Greece; this is how his first monograph, "Leros" was born. It is the result of Majoli's exploration of the theories of Franco Basaglia, pioneer of the modern concept of mental health, famous for the elimination of psychiatric hospitals in Italy.This early interest in psychiatric care took Majoli to Brazil, where he began a long 20 years, still unfinished project entitled "Tudo Bom" - an amazing series of works about this complex and multi-leveled country and especially about the dark extremes in its society.Over the years he worked as a photojournalist. His long experience of shooting people in all sorts of situations led him to explore the idea of the human as an actor in his own life. Majoli understands that his work makes people play roles in their natural environment, so he tries to exaggerate this effect, using artificial lighting to dramatize their otherwise routine lives. His pictures are transformed into scenes from movies, where people express themselves through their play, and the viewer begins to wonder whether it is fact or fiction. Majoli is forever fascinated by the thin line between reality and theater, documentary and artistic, human behavior and acting and all this makes him return to the streets and places where the human nature is questioned. Even in the biggest tragedies he discovers theater, pride and above all - the grandeur of the human spirit.

Currently Majoli is working on a project about the fragmentation and polarization in Europe's identity and about Europe's attempts to understand the impossibility to be isolated from the crisis across the Mediterranean. With this project, the author invites the audience to ask themselves what happens to European ideology in general with special remarks on topics like xenophobia, refugee crisis and the far-right wave across the continent.Majoli lives in New York. He is a member of "Magnum Photos" since 2001 and is represented by the gallery "Howard Greenberg" in New York.

Aleks Majoli (born in Ravenna, Italy, 1971) is an Italian photographer. He graduated from the Art Institute in Ravenna.The main focus in the whole work of Alex Majoli is the human nature and the theater of everyday life. His professional career began with a series of photographs folowing the closure of the notorious madhouse on the island of Leros, Greece; this is how his first monograph, "Leros" was born. It is the result of Majoli's exploration of the theories of Franco Basaglia, pioneer of the modern concept of mental health, famous for the elimination of psychiatric hospitals in Italy.This early interest in psychiatric care took Majoli to Brazil, where he began a long 20 years, still unfinished project entitled "Tudo Bom" - an amazing series of works about this complex and multi-leveled country and especially about the dark extremes in its society.Over the years he worked as a photojournalist. His long experience of shooting people in all sorts of situations led him to explore the idea of the human as an actor in his own life. Majoli understands that his work makes people play roles in their natural environment, so he tries to exaggerate this effect, using artificial lighting to dramatize their otherwise routine lives. His pictures are transformed into scenes from movies, where people express themselves through their play, and the viewer begins to wonder wether it is fact or fiction. Majoli is forever fascinated by the thin line between reality and theater, documentary and artistic, human behavior and acting and all this makes him returne to the streets and places where the human nature is questioned. Even in the biggest tragedies he discovers theater, pride and above all - the grandeur of the human spirit.

Currently Majoli is working on a project about the fragmentation and polarization in Europe's identity and about Europe's attempts to understand the impossibility to be isolated from the crisis across the Mediterranean. With this project, the author invites the audience to ask themselves what happens to European ideology in general with special remarks on topics like xenophobia, refugee crisis and the far-right wave across the continent.Majoli lives in New York. He is a member of "Magnum Fotos" since 2001 and is represented by the gallery "Hauard Griynbarg" in New York. 

When and where


09.05, 18:00 - 11.06
Sofia Art Gallery

1, Gen. Gurko str.
sghg.bg

 © Doriyan Todorov © Doriyan Todorov
 © Doriyan Todorov © Doriyan Todorov
 © Doriyan Todorov © Doriyan Todorov