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Valentina Bonizzi

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee (Scotland)

Valentina Bonizzi is an Italian artist and researcher based in Scotland since 2005. Her work and research aim at challenging assumptions about the relationship between resilience of human migration and the geographic environment with their representation by the technical image and its archive. Bonizzi is currently working with the Istituto Geografico Militare, Florence, the National Collection of Aerial Photography in Edinburgh and the National Archives in Washington DC. She has an ongoing collaboration with Campus in Camps, Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Palestine, and she is a recipient of an Art and Humanities Research Centre scholarship as a PhD candidate at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee.

Articles of Valentina Bonizzi

Che cosa legittima la fotografia? La produzione di un incontro tra Flusser e Vaccari

This paper describes the meeting between Flusser and the Italian artist and theorist Franco Vaccari in 1985 and 1987, and focuses on the philosophical, epistemological, and ethical basis of photography. The text is linked to the interview with Angelo Schwarz and the pictures at the end of this issue (Flusser in Italy). “What legitimates photography?” was a question proposed in the context of the symposium Torino Fotografia 1985. Today, the question is asked to address the “encounter” between Vilém Flusser and the artist Franco Vaccari. The latter is followed by a magnifying lens looking at the documentation of the real meeting between the two in 1985, but without the intention of finding the “proof.” While for Flusser, the invention of photography points to the beginning of a Post-Historical era in which he examines concepts of freedom and responsibility by combining the notion of the apparatus with the experience of exile, Vaccari activates the apparatus, and at the same time, lets his work be activated by it. In this way, the responsibility belongs to the apparatus itself, and the concept of freedom becomes a modus vivendi in which the photographer uses the apparatus to create meanings and “has a chance to discover what he didn’t know.” This process is weaved in the essay with interventions by Roberta Valtorta, who offers a socio-political overview of the photography context in Italy, and Franco Vaccari, who carefully thinks about an open answer for what can legitimize photography, as well as a related essay by Angelo Schwarz, the original author of the question which gives the title to this essay. The question of the legitimization of photography unravels through a methodology that explores what photography “becomes” by calling attention to the “subjects” of photography—or, as Ariella Azoulay defined, “the citizens of photography.”

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