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Matera Imagined

Matera is one of the most magical places in Italy. The cave dwellings with their vestiges of troglodyte living appear to belong to another age, a primordial time resonating with prehistory.

The extraordinary beauty and haunting poverty of the town, long associated with Carlo Levi’s masterpiece, Christ Stopped at Eboli is wonderfully captured in Lindsay Harris’s exhibition, Matera Imagined, in the galleries of the American Academy of Rome. Open late afternoon, Thursday through Sunday until early December, when it transfer to Matera, this show encapsulates American and north Italian photographic perspectives of the city after World War Two. Now, a UNESCO World Heritage City and in 2019 European City of Culture, it is today difficult to grasp the poverty of sixty years ago.

Matera 1980. Emmet Gowin

Lindsay Harris’s exhibition (and elegant accompanying catalogue) bring this Mediterranean town to life. It is a feast of exquisite photographs, each framed for a purpose. I came away dazed, having feasted upon images of a time I just recall, and of images that eloquently pay tribute to the world Levi described.

Lindsay Harris in front of Carrie Mae Weems photo (2006)

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