Franco Vaccari

Franco Vaccari / b. 1936, Italy / lives and works in Modena


The 5th Ural Biennial Main Project features the work:
«Leave on the Walls a Photographic Trace of Your Fleeting Visit» (Photo booth, photo camera, photographic paper, 1972/2010/2019)
Courtesy of the artist and DEDEM

Italian artist Franco Vaccari creates conceptual works that engage philosophically and culturally informed themes such as trace, private and public spaces, and mythicization with humor. His highly influential Exhibition in Real Time series (1969–1977) playfully experiments with the photographic medium, strategies to forfeit control and allow indeterminacies in art-making, and the idea of the exhibition as an art form. This series also earned him the title of inventor of the concept of the exhibition in real time.

Franco Vaccari’s Leave on the Walls a Photographic Trace of Your Fleeting Visit (1972/2010/2019), the fourth work of the Exhibition in Real Time series, is a site-specific, participatory installation originally conceived for the 36th Venice Biennale in 1972, re-installed at the Gwangju Biennale in 2010, and here at the 5th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art. The installation consists of a photomatic kiosk, wall space, and instructions for visitors to engage the work by taking photos of themselves inside the photobooth and attaching the printed photo strips to the walls. The work is only completed by the participation of the visitors who will gradually fill the initially empty wall space with photos that acted as physical traces of “being-here.” The work immortalizes temporary moments as permanent memory. While resisting time, it also reveals our subjugation to its passage. As Susan Sontag reminds us, “to live is to be photographed,” but the practice of photography is also a means to “participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability.”