What is the relationship between the 'contemporary' and our past history?
Are there particular places where these two dimensions meet and coexist on different planes?
The exhibition "RES Derelictae. Does the factory still produce?" raises among the many questions (concerning our contemporaneity) also the latter: is there a past that just passes by, or are there multiple pasts (like possible narratives) that reappear, bringing to our attention the same themes, the same faces?
This exhibition stems from a fortuitous discovery that took place in 2019 in one of the abandoned warehouses in Via Agosti: 180 photographs recovered from a basement that is normally inoperable due to water infiltration. Photographic reproductions of the Officine Reggiane and the activities that used to take place inside them and in the outside worksites, subjected by humidity to a process of deterioration that has transformed them into abstract compositions.
In almost all of the images, the human figures have surprisingly survived, as if time had failed to affect their presence.
Numerous questions are raised by the exhibition of the rediscovered, time-worn images. First and foremost: has the factory really stopped producing?
And consequently, what are the current products?
What identifies them as beautiful/desirable?
And again, can there be capital (photographic, artistic, human) to be discovered in an abandoned place that has stopped producing business 'profits'?
What is it that we see/overlook when we hear about Reggiane in the news today?
What lies beneath the common sense of 'decay' that covers the many possible narratives like a layer of stagnant water that prevents us from seeing beyond?
Do other possible narratives exist?
This unprecedented photographic iconography Jolie Laide (rotten and sublime), suspended between the oneiric and the surreal, is capable of wresting from oblivion the fragments of memory of a place symbolic of 20th century history and returning them to us with a shocking aesthetic and visual power.
It is impossible to ignore the raw and savage beauty present in these images.
Does factory still produce?