Touching a photograph is an exhibition curated by Chiara Salvi in 2016. It was inspired by the article 'Photography's New Materiality' by Sandra Plummer, Harriet Riches and Duncan Wooldridge published on Photoworks in 2011.
The cyanotype print of the feather, sold during the opening, was printed specifically for this show and and later became the logo of Alternative Processes.
The show celebrates the photographic image as an active rather than passive object, its surface as a physically alterable layer. The artists selected employed different techniques and materials and explored experimentation through chemicals, powders, and light-sensitive elements.
These artists perceive and want to convey photography as an experience and a performance. The surface of the image is no longer flat, pristine, and controlled. Instead it is tangible, concrete, sometimes unpredictable, and filled with unsolicited details.
The purpose of the exhibition is to make these processes known amongst the local community through free workshops, tours, and seminaries. We collaborated with local associations and city council members to create a space where culture, photography, and history could come together to ignite conversations and cultivate a community.
The goal was to have the audience fully involved and engaged: throughout the exhibition viewers can take part in *continuously running* workshops and learn how to produce images using the techniques on show. The prints produced by the audience are then incorporated in the exhibition in order to transform how art and the public interrelate. We wanted our viewers to be involved and active and to have a first hand experience of the making process.
Our exhibit focus on the visitor experience: we wanted to help people investigate how they see and perceive the world by offering a safe space to create and explore an unusual aspect of photography. Our mission is to spark interest, creativity, encourage social interaction, and inspire self-confidence.
The location of the exhibition is the historic building Casa Petrarca in a town near Florence, Italy, where Francesco Petrarca, poet during the early Italian Renaissance, founder of humanism, lived until 7 years old. Francesco Petrarca is considered to be one of the greatest love poets of the world literature, he has been called the first modern man and his writing was used to shape the modern Italian language.