From 14 July through 9 September the Noorderlicht Photogallery will be showing the first large-scale retrospective exhibition for the frequently honoured Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin. He, more than any other, has been able to breathe new life into the lessons and principles of the tradition of photojournalism, and translate them into new and contemporary language. Pellegrin works impartially and follows what happens around with his own eyes, to then interpret it in the light of his wide experience as a journalist and his compassion as a human being.
In DIES IRAE the photographer takes us with him to the black spots on the map, and the black pages of our recent history: from Afghanistan to Sudan, from Tahir Square to Palestinian territory, from Katrina to the tsunami of 2004. This is work that marked by war, revolt and natural violence.
But you should not expect pamphleteering. Pellegrin belongs to a generation of socially engaged photographers who, despite their clear moral compass, refuse to preach and always keep the measure of mankind in mind. In his approach Pellegrin demonstrates that he is at the same time an inheritor of the long photojournalistic tradition of Magnum photographers who preceded him, and someone who points the way forward with a contemporary method and visual vocabulary. His self-proclaimed goal is nothing less than the construction of an archive for our collective memory, by looking the world unflinchingly straight in the eye.
DIES IRAE is realized in cooperation with Forma, Foundation for Photography (Milan) and curated by Alessandra Mauro. The accompanying exhibition catalogue is published by Contrasto.