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THE ROOM OVERLOOKING THE GARDEN

Two photographers meet in this domestic environment, they exploiting the same device: pairs of photographs that evidently create a dialogue between themselves, but the relationship between which is not so clear. A celebrated image by Letizia Battaglia of a mafia crime in Palermo, I due Cristi [The Two Christs] of 1982, clashes with another image, Il Ballo, Festa di Capodanno a Villa Airoldi [The Ball, New Year’s Celebration at Villa Airoldi] taken in 1985 in Palermo, documenting the blissful indifference of society. Blood and crystal glasses, dark and sparkling light, threatening silence and bursts of merriment. And if these were all images from a single film? Giovanni Hänninen relates the same story in Milan. The sandwich booth emerging from the fog is that of Via Celoria and is the property of Loreno Tetti. He has been called the “anti-’ndrangheta sandwich seller”. Loreno Tetti, in fact, was the only witness who did not withdraw in the trial against the street sellers’ protection racket run by the Flachi clan. Shortly after he gave his testimony, on 19 July 2012, his truck was set on fire. From small to large-scale economy: in front of the Milan Stock Exchange, there is a sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan. Provocative, but thought-challenging: is it really out of place? It was put there at the height of the crisis that brought Italy to its knees. A crisis that exploded as a result of the corrupt workings of the financial world. “The contemporary crime boss”, writes Hänninen with Alberto Amoretti, who carried out the research on the basis of photographic reports, “is far removed from the cliché of the rough mafioso, he is a white-collar worker who has studied and is well-versed in economics, finance and technology”.

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Posted on: 15 November 2021, by : Alessandro Ulleri