So Far and so Close

With his reportages, Franco Pagetti (Varese, Italy, 1950) has covered the conflict in Iraq since January 2003, three months before the beginning of the war. Relying on this deep experience, the artist chose to investigate the Iraqi conflict from inside, focusing on the people, critical crux of each confrontation, and particularly on the two broad antagonists branch of Islam: Sunnis and Shiites. Divided by a cruel history and war, Sunnis and Shiites originate from a common background: they believe in the same God and share the same history, ethnicity, language, cuisine and clothing. In its images, Pagetti shows the subtle differences that set the ones against the others (as posture in prayer and religious iconography) and that, despite being so subtle, are the cause of many murders that occurred in Iraq in recent years. The exhibition is composed of 18 photographs that portray the Sunnis and Shiites are all black and white images of large format which have a very strong impact at the moment of confronting with them and with the reality they represent. The impressive identity Pagetti portrays, along with the texts of the famous journalists which come with the images and help to get inside them, make the exhibition a mirror of the contemporary reality of Iraq.

All images © Franco Pagetti

number of works 18 black and white and color photographs  
additional material slide-show on Iraqi conflict
print sizes 17 photographs 70x105 cm, 1 photograph 105x160 cm
frames mounted on aluminium with no frame
curator Enrica Viganò