The 13th edition of MIA will take place from 11 to 14 April 2024 at Allianz MiCo. With 100 exhibitors and 8 exhibitions and special projects, this year's protagonists are the most important contemporary themes

Respect for the environment, valorization of the feminine, centrality of the person, identity and strength of the community. These are just some of the proposals that the galleries present at the 13th edition of MIA Photo Fair , the international art event dedicated to photography in Italy (11 - 14 April at Allianz MiCo) organized by Fiere di Parma strong.

(cover photo Dina Goldstein, Breakfast 2012, 88.9x111.7, Ed 8_10, Tallulha Studio Art)

The main section, which expresses the theme chosen for 2024, Changing, sees in this edition established Italian galleries as protagonists, who find their meeting and commercial exchange space in MIA . The international presence is also growing with significant new entries from galleries from various countries such as the United States, Iran, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland. Of notable interest and prestige is the return of important foreign galleries who have chosen the fair as a privileged center of attraction for collectors.

Overall, the new edition, led by the artistic director Francesca Malgara, includes 100 exhibitors, 8 exhibitions and special projects, 4 awards and 70 galleries from Italy and abroad. “Fairs are meta-historical - says Ilaria Dazzi, Exhibition Director Manager of MIA Photo Fair - children of their time. They are and serve in the world, among people. It is not possible to think that we can remain in a sort of bubble.

There is a tendency for photographers all over the world to use the camera as a tool for documentation and reporting. It is right that the public, through high-quality photographic projects, can find, together with the possibility of purchasing, also the opportunity to delve deeper into the great themes of contemporary life. In this sense I believe that a fair like MIA can be not only a place for business, but also an opportunity to meet perspectives different from ours".

The sections

New to this edition is the choice to dedicate a section to the geographical area of the Mediterranean. “Beyond the borders of the Mediterranean”, curated by Rischa Paterlini.

Over 30 photographers present - many of whom have never exhibited in Italy - who tell the daily life and experiences of those who live in this region. A narrative where photography becomes a universal language that crosses geographical and cultural borders, highlighting how our sea can be a bridge of connection and dialogue.

An itinerary where every shot becomes an opportunity to break down barriers and embrace the richness of the multiple perspectives that the Mediterranean and the Middle East offer to the world. A story in images that speaks of connection where photography transforms into a powerful tool to stimulate reflection on identity and society, helping to promote an open and lively dialogue between different cultures and lands.

Among the photographers exhibited Ramak Fazel, who after living for a few years in Milan moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he currently lives and works and who presents a series of photographs created by the artist in Iran (his native country which he will however soon abandon).

Gabriele Basilico with Vintage shots taken from the Iran series taken in 1970, during an adventurous road trip with a Fiat 124 towards Kabul. The photos on display then range from circus performers in Muslim majority countries, such as Palestine and Afghanistan, by Johanna-Maria Fritz, to the concepts of identity and femininity of the Egyptian visual artist Najla > Said, who creates alternative and decolonized representations of being a woman in a patriarchal society. Also on display is the Russian-Swedish photographer, resident in Cairo, Xenia Nikolskaya< /strong>, which documents the colonial architecture of Egypt, urgently capturing what remains of places now almost forgotten. To further enrich this experience there will be a podcast created in collaboration with the Giornale dell'Arte.

Beyond Photography - Dialogue, is the section curated by Domenico de Chirico and reserved for national and international galleries whose exhibition project - designed specifically for the fair - is aimed at creating of a stimulating dialogue between a monographic photographic proposal and one whose investigated expressive medium manifests itself through alternative forms of artistic research including: sculpture, installation, painting, performance and video.

From this perspective, Beyond Photography - Dialogue is configured as a privileged meeting place that places Photography at the center in "dialogue" with the other languages of contemporary art. Among all the works on display in the section, they range from the photographs of Julien Spiewak presented by NM CONTEMPORARY based in the Principality of Monaco to the paintings of Augusta Alexander in dialogue with the photographic creations of Eugene Shishkin from the SERENE gallery in Lugano, passing for the photography of the world-famous artist Shirin Neshat surrounded by the sculptures of Nika Neelova at the stand of the NOIRE gallery in Turin and so on.

The Reportage Beyond Reportage section, curated by Emanuela Mazzonis of Pralafera, invites the viewer to take a visual journey through the images of photographers from different generations and nationalities, coming from different continents and some of them presented in Milan for the first time. This year the section develops a focus dedicated to the change of the landscape in relation to various factors that have contributed to modifying its appearance and conformation.

In the section there will be space for the photographer and activist Anne de Carbuccia with a story about the irreversible melting of glaciers and man's attempt to slow down the process; J. Henry Fair, with a focus on environmental pollution to the detriment of the marine and terrestrial landscape; Jeffrey Milstein's immersive aerial visions of a sequence of modern metropolises as an example of the changing urban landscape; and Francesco Zizola, whose project is an analysis of the relationship between man and nature, through the visual story of the slow and patient work of tuna fishermen in the nocturnal waters of the Mediterranean.

The exhibitions

Italian collectors will instead be the protagonists of the exhibition "The shape of relationships", curated by Rica Cerbarano, journalist and writer. With an exhibition project by the architecture studio Lissoni & Partners,at the center of the fair, the exhibition presents a unique selection of over 50 works from the most important Italian private collections, with which the relational power of photography is celebrated.

In the exhibition we find photographic projects that are the result of a profound bond between the authors and the subjects of the images: what emerges are the relationships woven in the family environment (as in the works of Ettore Sottsass and Efrem Raimondi), in fragile communities and underrepresented of which artists are often part (such as Zanele Muholi), and those that link photographers to figures with whom they have a relationship of affection (see Bruna Esposito) or admiration (among others, portraits of artists made by Robert Mapplethorpe and Man Ray, or those by Jacopo Benassi).

At the same time, space is given tocollaboration between authors working in duos or as collectives,highlighting the importance of interpersonal exchange in the artistic process (as with Bernd & Hilla Becher and The Cool Couple), as well as the creation of collective projects, the result of active participation by the subjects photographed (for example through the works of Vanessa Beecroft and Maurizio Cattelan). Meetings, comparisons, relationships and connections are the focal point of the works on display and invite us to reconsider the parameters with which to define the validity of a photographic project, which goes beyond the aesthetic impact, its economic value and research artistic as an end in itself.

MIA Photo Fair has decided to pay homage to the photographer Carlo Bavagnoli, who recently passed away (Viterbo, 25 February 2024), with a personal exhibition - “Bavagnoli and portraits: homage to the master of photojournalism" - which offers portraits of artists, musicians, intellectuals through his lesser-known shots, to tell the evocative force of this artist. An exhibition created in collaboration with the Cariparma Foundation.

“The meeting between the photographer and our reality - declares Franco Magnani, President of the Cariparma Foundation - dates back to around the 1980s, with Cassa di Risparmio di Parma and Piacenza first and then with the Cariparma Foundation. It was in 2000 that Carlo Bavagnoli donated 29,385 negatives from his archive to the Cariparma Foundation, which conserved them in Palazzo Bossi Bocchi. At the same time he donated 150 rare international photographic volumes to our Busseto Library and the whole constitutes one of the most interesting collections at an international level for the history of photography and twentieth-century customs. I remember that between 2015 and 2017 Bavagnoli spent a long time with us at the Foundation to catalog and digitize 2,445 shots of his "first choices".

“In 2017 – continues Magnani – upon completion of the cataloging of the archive, we created the exhibition “Parma and the world in photographs” by Carlo Bavagnoli, also printing a new catalogue. I was immensely moved by his recent death, just as we were working on a new photographic exhibition, inspired by him, which tells the story of the first twenty years of this new millennium. It will be a unique opportunity to celebrate it in the best possible way, grateful for having left a precious testimony to our territory, which we will certainly not fail to enhance and promote over time".

The institutions

Another absolute novelty of this 13th edition is the section dedicated to cultural institutions and foundations, which sees the debut of MuFoCo. The Museum of Contemporary Photography presents a selection of the 10 works, which won the Open Call call. Italy is a desire, aimed at photographers and visual artists under 40. A preview of the exhibition that will be held at Mufoco in autumn 2024, and which will display all of over 70 works from the 10 winning projects.

Deloitte Italia participates in MIA Photo Fair with a stand dedicated to the Deloitte Photo Grant, an international photography competition promoted by Deloitte Italia with the patronage of the Deloitte Foundation, in collaboration with 24 ORE Cultura, with the artistic direction of Denis Curti and the team by BlackCamera. A team of experts will be available to photographers to read the portfolio for free and to give instructions on how to send their application for the Deloitte Photo Grant Open Call. On the Instagram account @deloitte_photogrant and at the link it will be possible to find out about days and times and book your slot. Sunday 14 April 2024 at 12.15 pm Guido Borsani, president of the Deloitte Foundation and juror, and Denis Curti, artistic director, will present the prize, the theme and the methods of participation.

The Sella Foundation will also be present and will present the first images created by Giuseppe Venanzio Sella (1851-1856). Original plates and prints of mountain panoramas by Vittorio Sella (1885-1909), among the first to bring photography to the top of the mountains. Landscape photographs by his brother Erminio (1898) are also on display. Title of the exhibition “From wool to photography. Back to the origins".

Finally, the CSAC, Study Center and Communication Archive of the University of Parma, which presents a special exhibition curated by Cristina Casero and Margherita Zazzero, with the photographs that Anna Candiani, Marzia Malli, Paola Mattioli, Giovanna Nuvoletti, took in Milan over the years 60s and 70s, documenting collective events such as political demonstrations, strikes, referendum campaigns on divorce and abortion, from an alternative point of view to official information. Title of the exhibition "Photograph(s) that change".

The Francesca Rava Foundation, which has been helping children and adolescents and fragile women since 2000 in Italy, Haiti and around the world, is a charity partner of the 13th edition of the MIA Photo Fair and presents “ANOTHER WORLD_ triple layer art”, a project creative by Marco Salom, visual artist, director, composer and volunteer of the Francesca Rava Foundation, curated by Clelia Patella and created with the Votto Gallery. The subjects of the works are strong and beautiful women who, in an ideal world, have overcome great obstacles and proudly bear their metaphorical signs on their skin. “ANOTHER WORLD” supports “WE TAKE CARE OF YOU”, the project of the Francesca Rava Foundation in response to health poverty and health care, including mental health, of children, adolescents and women in Italy.

Luciana Matalon Foundation, will propose a selection of shots from projects and initiatives of the institution, including the exhibition “QUEEN UNSEEN | Peter Hince." Also present is Le Stanze della Fotografia, a joint initiative between Marsilio Arte and the Giorgio Cini Foundation.

The Swiss watchmaker Eberhard & Co. supports the National Museum of Women in the Arts at MIA Photo Fair with the New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 project represented this year by Irene Fenara. "We are pleased to participate once again in MIA PHOTO FAIR, an event that has seen us as partners for many years, and at the same time to support an important and prestigious project like Women to Watch 2024. For our Company, whose beating heart and guide is for many years Barbara Monti - President and CEO of Eberhard & Co. - the theme of support for women in all contexts is inherent and of vital importance, as is the 'female gaze' embodied by the artist. The work selected for MIA PHOTO FAIR also focuses on time, which as a watchmaker is ultimately our primary object," says Mario Peserico, General Manager of Eberhard & Co.

The prizes

The “BNL BNP Paribas Award” – now in its thirteenth edition – is a concrete recognition, awarded to the best artist chosen among those who will exhibit their works through art galleries. In the awareness that photography is one of the most transversal and representative expressive languages of the contemporary art system, in recent decades BNL BNP Paribas has been committed to promoting contemporary artists - especially young emerging talents - highlighting the importance of investing in culture with a view to sustainable social development. The winning photograph will be acquired by BNL BNP Paribas and the artist will become part of the Bank's collection, which over the years has also been enriched by the works awarded in previous editions and which currently numbers around 6,000 works

The IRINOX SAVE THE FOOD Award, now in its third edition and curated by Claudio Composi, independent curator, founder and Art Director of mc2gallery. On display are a series of photographic projects focusing on food interpreted in all its forms with particular attention to the theme of food waste. The exhibition will also stop in Parma at the San Paolo Complex as part of CIBUS OFF, the Fuori Salone of CIBUS, the most important event in Italy dedicated to agri-food. Thanks to the collaboration between MIA Photo Fair and Yeast Photo Festival of Matino/Lecce, the work of one of the 15 finalists of the IRINOX SAVE THE FOOD award will be chosen by the artistic director Edda Fahrenhorst to be subsequently exhibited at the third edition of the Salento photography festival, which will be held starting from September 2024 and which promotes the link between photography, food and visual arts.

The Award entitled “Welcome to my Unknown” debuts in this edition. Dedicated to under 35s, curated by Erik Kessels, Dutch artist, curator and visual communication expert, with a great interest in art and photography, it was created to explore creativity of those under 35 who use photography - analogue or digital - as an artistic language.

MIA Photo Fair 2024: tickets and useful information

When: from 11 to 14 April 2024

Where: at the MiCo Milano Congressi spaces, via Gattamelata 13 - gate 16

Tickets available by clicking on this link