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L’Artiere is proud to present Andrea Modica’s exhibition:
“Catholic Girl / January 1 / As We Wait”.

In our exhibition space we will present works from the three books we have published. If you are in Bologna, stop by and say hello.

via Petroni 22A; 40126, Bologna; Italy

VERNISSAGE: Friday February 2nd ; from 6:30PM till 8:30PM
ART CITY WHITE NIGHT: Saturday February 3rd; From 4:00PM till 00:00AM
From February 2nd till April 30rd. From Wednesday to Saturday 3:00 PM/7:00 PM

Catholic Girl

“My hope for every young photography student is that there comes a point when the need to do the work overrides the desire to do well in school. This happened for me in earnest when I was in graduate school in 1984. I liken this moment to a first kiss; you get only one chance, and with some luck it’s not squandered.

Following Garry Winogrand’s memorial service in March of that year, and a freak New York City snowstorm on that warm spring day, I took the RR subway into Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to visit my high school teacher, the artist Len Bellinger. As usual, I had my 8X10 camera and holders in a backpack, tripod dangling off to the side. Being a diligent student, I took the opportunity to photograph at my alma mater, a largely Italian-American Catholic high school for girls. I was immediately struck with a rush of recognition and terror. I returned to make pictures many times during the following months, knowing intuitively there was something important for me to unpack. Only a few years earlier, within these walls, I had lived my life as a teenager, a time of intense joy and unfathomable grief. Without hesitation, that spring day I jumped off the cliff. I was in love.

This book includes the Brooklyn work, as well as photographs made at that time in two New Haven Catholic girls’ schools. All of the work is produced with an 8X10 camera and printed in platinum, a practice I still employ. Evident is the influence of photographers whose work I was devouring, particularly August Sander and Diane Arbus. The seeds of my future projects are all in this book. With the Catholic girls I launched an obsessive lifelong work habit that I might not wish on anyone I care about. Looking back over these forty years, I don’t believe I had much choice. I remain most grateful to everyone who has supported me through the decades, including the incredible girls who generously offered their time to be photographed in 1984.”

Andrea Modica

January 1

“Each New Year’s Day in Philadelphia, merrymakers from across the city converge on South Philadelphia for something that at times resembles a well-choreographed parade of highly skilled performers, and at other times is more of a sprawling, shambling mob of happy, boozy, (primarily) men in costumes.  These are the Philadelphia Mummers. The event is an amalgamation of cultural traditions that has evolved in working-class neighborhoods for over 300 years. Beginning as small bands of informal revelers scattered throughout the city, today’s parade includes recognized performance divisions and organized clubs that compete within those divisions. The group represented by this collection of photographs are the Wenches, a subset of the Comic division, who hew most closely to the Mummers’ anarchic, free-wheeling past. The all-male Wenches don female garb, including dresses, undergarments, purses, parasols, wigs, make-up and golden shoes, in tribute to the iconic song of Mummery, Oh, Dem Golden SIippers. The Wench tradition, and often the dresses themselves, are passed down from one generation to the next, with some groups including all the male members of a family, from young boys to great grandfathers.

Like so many clubs and teams, this group embodies a male mystique, a paradox of inclusion and exclusion that fueled my attention beyond the aesthetics of the parade.  As a woman and a photographer, I joined the festivities as best I could. With an 8X10” view camera, I momentarily removed the Wenches from their reverie and photographed them, isolated, feet away from the party.

All the photographs were made on January 1, 2009-2018 in South Philadelphia: a 10-day, 10-year project.”

Andrea Modica

As We Wait

“Andrea Modica works with sensual love as her base but aligned with a darkness which is pervasive, so much so that it can color your dreams.

The work is not hopeless but breathless, as if there is an atmospheric gauze placed over the larynx so that breathing has to be softened, done in silence so that walking the tight rope between an exalted life and a sultry death. You shan’t emit too loud a sound. The balance is so tentative, so tactile, so absolutely fragile that there is the danger of tipping the scales of mortality in clear sight.

Surprisingly from time to time, there is an innocence which floats to the surface of your heart. From out of the darkness a blink of tender rapture appears. Not exactly an unintended gust at the table, but a delightful one and one which holds the work in some balance, informing us that within the deep concerns of mortality there is a bubbling assortment of impulses that allows life to be felt as whole. to be suspended within wonder is part of the oratorio singing along with the dread, giving all parts of the work credence and organizing sound, as if symphonic, rather than just an obsessive dirge.”

Larry Fink



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