The Photographers’ Gallery presents the first major UK solo exhibition of Italian artist Lorenzo Vitturi’s acclaimed body of work Dalston Anatomy.
First published as a book in 2013, this multi-faceted project centres around East London’s Ridley Road Market. As a local resident Vitturi witnessed the community, economy and the very make-up of this street market being transformed at an accelerating pace. The project stems from his compulsion to collect and distill the area’s distinctive nature before it is gentrified beyond recognition.
Vitturi began creating makeshift sculptures in his studio from objects found in the market including fruits, vegetables, fabrics and miscellaneous tokens and trinkets. Some objects were used as found, others left to mature or rot and some doused with pigment. The objects were arranged into various compositions and set against the backdrop of discarded market materials. Photographed before, and occasionally after their collapse, the ephemerality of these structures mirrors the daily rhythm of the market.
The still-lives are accompanied by street scenes and portraits of people he encountered on his daily walks. Some of these photographs are included as straight images while others are used as surfaces to be layered with objects and rephotographed.
For his exhibition Vitturi will draw on his background as a cinema set painter and designer to combine photography, installation and sculpture. Lifting materials directly from the market stalls into the Gallery, Vitturi will reconfigure them to create a unique space which functions as a sculptural work in its own right.
Dalston Anatomy will feature over thirty images which will either be directly adhered to the wall, placed on shelves or hung on bespoke mounting panels made from reclaimed materials. In addition to the images, the exhibition will also include three sculptural pieces which recall the market stalls and temporary makeshift objects as well as the cultural diversity and precarious condition of the changing neighbourhood.
The photographs merge with the structures to set the scene for thoughts and ideas around creation, consumption and preservation. Also included as part of the installation is a poem by Sam Berkson. Originally commissioned for the book, it layers fragments of conversation from the market to anchor the photographs.
Lorenzo Vitturi said: Dalston Anatomy is a visual ode to Dalston, as a unique place where different cultures merge together in a celebration of life, diversity and unstoppable energy. I felt compelled to capture this place at its rawest and most beautiful with all its flaws and smells before it too is transformed and disappears altogether, as time moves ever forward.