Iron, Fire, Blood! Living the Great War
Photos by Giuliano Francesconi, exhibition curated by Mauro Passarin
After the exhibition at Vicenza’s Palazzo Chiericati, Le Gallerie brings us an exhibition of emotion and truth, that lets us "live the Great War", showing that the "epic” known to most only through history books was actually a war of Iron, Fire and Blood.
Through the photographs of Giuliano Francesconi, the exhibition speaks to us of fear, mud, hunger, thirst, the cold and the horrors experienced by millions of men thrown into the front line to discover a severe and unknown world.
The materials, all fragments of objects used during the First World War and collected on the Vicentine mountains, are sensitively brought into a modern-day context by the photographer Giuliano Francesconi with a harmony and beauty urging us to reflect on the errors and horrors of the war. They form a collection of anguished poetry, where the "documentary" ability of images never slips into rhetoric and cliché, but instead invites silence and reflection.
Gas masks, coils of barbed wire, spikes, tubes exploded by nitroglycerine, a spoon made from a bullet, wire cutters, goggles for snow glare, old shoe soles, bayonets, deformed helmets, a row of small bottles that the enemy fire did not break but folded: random objects, exploded into large sizes, drag the visitor into another world, populated by powerful, terrible "ghosts" of iron and fire.