CURA.

LISETTA CARMI
RENÉE

Ciaccia Levi, Paris
October 22 – January 23, 2021

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Press release

The Ciaccia Levi Gallery is pleased to announce the second solo exhibition of the Italian artist. Lisetta Carmi with a corpus of twelve never before seen photographs in black and white as well as in color. They are extracts from her most prominent and controversial series entitled I travestiti, which documents the portraits, moments and environments of the community life of Genovese transvestites and transsexuals, whom she met on New Year’s Eve 1965.

Lisetta Carmi, who conceives her practice as a political engagement and as an anthropological investigative tool, was the first to document the LGBTQ community in Italy during a time in which gender identity was a taboo. These photographs, created within a relationship of profound esteem and friendship, narrate without artifacts or staging the lives of those, who beyond the search for an identity, strive towards embodying the model of a woman. Inside the sequence of these sensitive and intimate portraits, the exhibition proposes to walk with Renée, of whom not much is known apart from her sexual reassignment surgery process she was the only one to undergo. If Lisetta Carmi has always refused an aesthetical approach in her photographic works as a research for the truth, the light has been directed on the social, cultural and aesthetic embedding of Renée.

The minimalist and objective framing refects a manifold of references; in these decidedly cinematographic images, the flamboyant hairstyle of Renée evokes Anouk Aimée in La Dolce Vita, by Federico Fellini. We see her standing in front of the counter at café Klainguti – frequented long ago by Giuseppe Verdi as well as the Genoesebourgeoisie. Other decors show a Hercules sculpted by Filippo Parodi, or a palazzo designed by the Baroque architect Bartolomeo Bianco, and the interior of Renée's apartment embark us in the city center of Genoa, where we tie with her everyday life and aspirations.

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Lisetta Carmi, Martini & Ronchetti (Genova) and Ciaccia Levi (Paris). Photograph: Aurélien Mole 
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Lisetta Carmi, Martini & Ronchetti (Genova) and Ciaccia Levi (Paris). Photograph: Aurélien Mole 
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Lisetta Carmi, Martini & Ronchetti (Genova) and Ciaccia Levi (Paris). Photograph: Aurélien Mole 
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Lisetta Carmi, Martini & Ronchetti (Genova) and Ciaccia Levi (Paris). Photograph: Aurélien Mole 
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Lisetta Carmi, Martini & Ronchetti (Genova) and Ciaccia Levi (Paris). Photograph: Aurélien Mole 

Featured image: Lisetta Carmi, Martini & Ronchetti (Genova) and Ciaccia Levi (Paris). Photograph: Aurélien Mole

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