january 27, 2015 - Villa Panza

'Wim Wenders. America' takes place at Villa Panza to discover the German director's personal interpretation of America

FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano (Italy's National Trust) is staging "Wim Wenders. AMERICA" at Villa Panza in Varese, home to the Panza collection. This exhibition of photographs taken by the renowned film director and photographer Wim Wenders is an homage to the friend Dennis Hopper and the artist Edward Hopper, and is the first in a programme scheduled for the Villa showcasing the current photography scene. The exhibition is being held in the year in which acolytes around the world are celebrating the 70th birthday of this master of the New German Cinema, upon whom the Honorary Golden Bear lifetime achievement award will be bestowed at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival.

“Landscapes give form to our lives, they mould our character, they define our human condition and if you pay attention and sharpen your sensitivity towards them, you'll discover that they have stories to tell and that they are far more than simple places.” This is how Wenders describes his approach, which is based on using a panoramic camera that is capable of reproducing visions that overturn our normal perception of the landscape, opening up moments of exceptional visual richness.

The works on display were created in the United States between the end of the 1970s and 2003, and they document environments, landscapes, architecture and roads, all captured by Wenders' lens with an acute, far-reaching perspective that is geared towards contemplating the immensity of nature and the power of light. The shots encapsulate the experience of a European encountering, hearing, seeing and recording American culture from the 1970s onwards; in what was an analogous experience, during the same period Giuseppe Panza di Biumo visited, perceived and came to understand the American spirit through art, and began to put together his own collection. As Panza himself put it: “My interest in this art came about in the wake of a long trip to America in 1954…At that time, I was not yet a collector, but I felt that a new culture was in the offing – one that was different from the culture of Europe, driven forward by new influences, energies and situations”.

At Villa Panza, Wenders is exhibiting 34 photographs, some on a large scale, that have been arranged on the basis of a chronological and thematic progression. The images will enter into a dialogue with the surroundings of the Villa, in the spaces on the ground floor and first floor, and in the stable block. A common thread will run through the exhibition to help visitors discover the German director's personal interpretation of America.

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