Organization of exhibition: Typhlological Museum
Photographer: Giovanni Marrozzini
Exhibition author: Davor Šiftar
Art concept: Davor Šiftar, Želimir Koščević
Photography is a medium whose expressive artistic potential contains objective reality of a document and subjective experience of a creative observation. In a relatively short history of the medium, high impact of photographic pictures has shown itself so powerful that messages contained in those pictures have deeply shaken the world not only once. To an eminent group of photographers that knew how and had skill to create picture from reality and to implement into that same picture its poetical essence that is to create a work of art, joins also the Italian photographer Giovanni Marrozzini (1971).
By dramatic and in his own way painful photographs, taken in the School for Blind Children in Ethiopia, Marrozzini has sent perfectly clear and unambiguous message about reality of global economic, political and social order, the message of sorrow and poverty, but also of hope and faith. The School that has been established by the Christian Mission S.I.M. in 1965 and today is maintained by non-profit organization C.B.M. (Christian Mission for the Blind), is a part of a wide humanitarian network and – let us say in this way - a pebble in a mosaic of noble endeavours to alleviate the state of global misery.
With his rich experience of work and acting in the framework of various NG humanitarian organizations (Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Argentina, Palestine), Marrozzini by his series of photographs from the School for Blind Children in the city of Soddo (about 400 km south of Adis Abeba) has told us in a visual language a small story about an ordinary life, life and work of the blind children’s community that through schooling and work is being gradually trained for life in wider social community. In specific Ethiopian circumstances where the population of blind people numbers about one million, it is an extraordinary undertaking. Next to the School there is a small brick manufacture in which work the adults, so that in a complex structure of this small community work, schooling, health care and above all voluntary humanitarian work co-ordinately provide for the stability of the community.
There was no need for Marrozzini to search motives for his photographs. Motives were simply “entering” into pictures. Although people shown on Marrozzini’s pictures will never have an opportunity to see their own pictures, they are by their photos - by means of the media of photography - living participants of the strong experience that this exhibition offers. This is not only an opportunity for the Croatian public to get acquainted with the photographs of an Italian artist, nor it is an artistically and documentary testimony with a segment of humanitarian work in faraway Ethiopia, but it is an opportunity to imagine once again - here and now - how it is to live without entirety of all senses. There or here. Photo Gallery Lang from Samobor and Typhlological Musem from Zagreb, realizing this exhibition of Giovanni Marrozzini in cooperation, give thus their small contribution to humaneness and unselfish work that - despite everything - remains creative and working credo of all those who do not support the world of global power-wielders, regardless whether they are hidden somewhere - here or there - behind glass skyscrapers.
POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHS
Realizing its own mission the Typhlological Museum through its permanent exhibition and periodical exhibitions communicates materials related to the visually impaired persons. Numerous past exhibitions from the cycle of the Tactile Gallery, operating more than 30 years in the framework of the Museum, were oriented mostly to the sculptures of academic sculptors and self-educated blind authors, in order to offer an opportunity to visually impaired visitors to experience this kind of art by touch.
In this occasion we have stepped out from the Tactile Gallery concept and we shall try by means of photographs to present to seeing public another and different aspect of life and work of visually impaired people, confirming that in the centre of our interest is a man, regardless where he is, either on the Old or the Black continent.
In order to achieve its goals the Museum cooperates with institutions and individuals active in this area, either in the country or abroad. Thus together with the Photo Gallery Lang from Samobor we have prepared this exhibition of the exceptional Italian photographer Giovanni Marrozzini, whose work is oriented towards a very specific area that might not be so popular in the world of art, since it is without glamour and does not celebrate beauty at first sight, but that he has interpreted deeply humanely and experienced. Here beauty is not contained only on the surface of the photograph, visible solely to one's eye, here beauty is created in the spirit and understanding of visitors, beauty resulting from force and ability of the blind to go beyond their darkness, their night.
These firs-rate photographs of Giovanni Marrozzini, full of empathy, bring us insight into the life and work of the blind in Ethiopia in a documentary, but at the same time highly aesthetic way, demonstrating to our museum public situation in which are blind persons outside relatively known European circle, confirming that geographical distance is not an obstacle to find a way to soul, to connect worlds and people of different skin colours or religions.