Le Dame Art Gallery at Meliá White House presents the new exhibition LB No.5 by Lichena Bertinato. The exhibition is displayed from the 1st of September and runs for one month in the VIP Level Lounge of the hotel.

More like a movie director than a photographer, Bertinato uses a cast of models/actors and a crew of assistants to stage her pictures. Bertinato’s influences came mostly from the cinema of the past, namely film noir and movies by Alfred Hitchcock. Her approach to photography relates to the cinema industry, as she stages all her pictures.

LB no.5 puts together the best of Lichena Bertinato’s Vintage mood project. The project, started in 2013, is a revocation of past eras such as the 30s (Gigi’s firends), 40s (Next stop) and 50s (Riding in the 50s and Wedding Preparations). In this body of work Bertinato has used historical locations in her native village Valdagno, in the Venetian countryside of Italy, combined with period costumes to create suggestive scenarios for imagining her stories tied between realism and fantasy.

The first part of the project, called Gigi’s friends, is set in the 30s and features people elegantly dressed as if in a black and white movie. This series is full of references to great movie stars of the past, such as Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. Next stop, set in the 40s, features different characters who casually embark in a journey in an old train carriage. This leads to curious encounters, bizarre situations and romantic farewells. Riding in the Fifties and Wedding preparations are both set in the 50s. In the first one, the city background of Valdagno with its giant textile factory is the set for a story of youthhood, friendship and love. Wedding preparations is set in an interior period flat. The story is a portrayal of a family during the wedding celebrations. With its prevailing middle-class setting, the story is pervaded by irony and satire of manners.

Bertinato’s pictures are detailed in terms of composition and the orchestration of scenes is rather excellent, with original vintage props and costumes. Behind each photograph there is a very laborious process that starts with scouting a location, something that fascinates Bertinato and allows her to imagine her own stories, to casting the actors for the scenes previously sketched in her imaginary.