Awakening plaster ghosts is a sentence taken from the book “Milano in Mano” published in 1965. It is the rearrangement of a tourist guide describing the districts of Milan as they are now and might become in the future. The book mentions the plaster sculptures in the corridors of the Brera Academy, with limbs eroded by time and sometimes vandalized by students.
After passing the post-war urban development plans, Brera has continued to exist with its both contradictory and lively spirit. Today in these streets, which are mostly dedicated to fashion and design, the architectural scenario has changed: from the family-friendly neighbourhood shops and intellectual meeting points, to the bigger galleries and design studios.
In a contest where the handmade philosophy is not extinct, yet ennobled by the idea of contemporary luxury, our challenge goes in the opposite direction to the spectacularization of the nostalgic element, placing the tactile experience of the visual and material subject before the formal complexity.
Thanks to the work of five Masters of Photography, the path is organized and takes place in a landscape that suffers substantially from the phantom limb syndrome: a stratified entity in which both historical and commercial places coexist and where photographers seek – not through the documentation, but by using the individual experience – to reconnect the area to its existential value.
Alessandro Furchino Capria, Federico Torra, Francesca Jovene, Jessica Soffiati and Luigi Fiano consider the art of photography as a daily act of observation. The set of works that is part of the exhibition has been created in different places and with different methods and it provides a simple dictionary of visual input to prepare the visitor to new possible ways of observing the neighbourhood.