At the Pac in Milan comes the new project of “Ri-scatti”, entitled “Up to make me disappear”. On display, the photographs of nine girls and a boy suffering from eating disorders.
The exhibition is conceived and organized by the PAC Pavilion of Contemporary Art in Milan and by Ri-scatti Onlus – the voluntary association that has been carrying out social redemption projects through photography since 2014 – and is promoted by the Municipality of Milan with the support of Tod's. This year's edition, the seventh, is organized in collaboration with the Niguarda Hospital of Milan and the Erika Association, and with the patronage of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – Department for Youth Policies and the Universal Civil Service. It is also enriched by a prestazione, the result of a theatrical workshop on the same theme, created in collaboration with ASL Roma 1 and Associazione La Fenice.
Overcoming a false myth
Curated by the curator of the PAC, Diego Sileo, the exhibition aims to overcome the western myth of thinness as a synonym of beauty and perfection, underlining however how this does not represent the root cause of the disease. One hundred photographs tell different stories of suffering, discomfort, fear, in which the idea of being able to control the stimulus of hunger and being able to live without food become the only objectives to be pursued and to which to direct all efforts to to be able to cancel one's physicality, to be able to limit one's presence, almost in a desperate attempt to want to disappear.
The experiences on display at the PAC are those of Alessandra, Alessia, Anna, Emanuela, Emanuele, Federica, Giulia, Silvia, Sofia and Teresa. After a three-month workshop carried out under the guidance of Amedeo Novelli – who, together with Stefano Corso and Federica Balestrieri, represents the soul of Ri-scatti – they found the courage and strength to talk about themselves with the camera in hand, of spettacolo themselves with all their frailties and insecurities, also trying to raise public awareness on forms of pain that are too often ignored, considered by many to be a single adolescent whim or even a youth . A still widespread disavowal of the disease, a denial at all levels, from society to family members, from school to general practitioner.
The conditioning of social media
The exhibition also wants to focus on the collective responsibilities of a society conditioned by social media, where the exhibition of the body is a powerful means of communication and relationship, and where being thin becomes the prerequisite for being and feeling accepted. Risks that today also travel through very dangerous “pro anorexia” and “pro bulimia” websites, blogs and forums that provide criminals with instructions to become thinner and thinner.
A parallel project was carried out in Rome, using the theater as an instrument of investigation and therefore of expression. Conducted by the playwright and actor Mauro Santopietro in synergy with the ASL Roma 1 – DCA with the involvement of eleven girls, the five-month workshop culminates in the return of a collective text, staged by Aurora, Giulia M., Giulia C, Giorgia , Sara, Silvia, Valeria, Leslie, Vittoria, Emma, Laura. The prestazione that will see them all on stage will be held at the PAC on Saturday 16 October as part of the exhibition.
“RE-SHOTS. Up to make me disappear “is a journey without filters and without sweetened forms in the lives of a group of young people who are trying to react to a disease that has led their bodies to exasperation, to forms of behavior bordering on self-harm aimed at counteract any weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, extensive use of laxatives and diuretics, intense physical activity and self-assessment unduly influenced by one's own reflection in a mirror. The protagonists of Ri-scatti, now aware of their suffering, have thus decided to try to redeem themselves through the art of photography, putting aside the fear of disappointment and failure that had accompanied them in the most acute phase of the disease, silence those thoughts of anger, sadness, despair and loneliness that had conditioned their behavior in the family, at school, with friends.
All the photographs taken for the project and the catalog published by Silvana Editoriale will, as always, be available for purchase during the entire period of the exhibition and the entire proceeds will be used to support the activities of the Erika Association with headquarters at the Niguarda Hospital in Milan, in support of both patients and their families.