Tommaso Tanini: H. said he loved us (2017)

Exhibition held at the Italian Institute in Belgrade, as part of Belgrade Photography Month.
April 4-25, 2017.

Exhibition curated by Tommaso Tanini and Natasha Christia.

Statement: Tommaso Tanini’s H. said he loved us draws on the story of the GDR and the German Ministry for State Security (STASI) to explore the feelings of oppression and dread caused by living in a state of constant suspicion and diffidence. Following three years of travels and investigations in Germany, the project mingles archival and documentary research with a personal and subjective photographic investigation stepped on literary references and fictional narratives. Structured as a rich mosaic of traces and suggestions, H. said he loved us subtly warns about the cyclical and evil nature of any form of totalitarianism, without imposing any unilateral vision or clichés. At the same time, it brings onto the surface the ghosts of a dreadful historical reality that has been deliberately excluded from the founding myths of the post Cold-War Era European unity.
Curatorial approach: The already exisiting installation “H. said said he loved us” was further reworked for an exhibition featured during Belgrade Photomonth. The initial minimalist display comprising of framed and horizontally displayed architecture prints was complemented with a series of ephemeral materials combining image and text, as an evocation to the double layering of the work and the play between twofold notions such as: the State vs. us (citizens): censored vs. uncensored; formal vs. informal; official vs. unofficial discourse; hidden vs. visible; annihilated identity vs. visible identity; false/dreamful and true/real. The design of the added elements makes subtle allusions to the archival/document aesthetic of the Stasi times.