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Paul Thorel, Alberto Giacometti, Michel Auder
Curated by Sara Dolfi Agostini
11.09.2023 – 23.10.2023
Paul Thorel Foundation – Studio / Archive, Via Vittorio Imbriani 48, Naples

Family & Friends is the first exhibition part of a series designed to offer a shared reinterpretation of the archive of Paul Thorel (1956-2020), a pioneering French-Italian artist of the electronic image, pending the publication of the catalog raisonné dedicated to him. In dialogue with Paul Thorel are Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) and Michel Auder (1945), who share with him a spirit of experimentation in their own research languages, respectively sculpture and video, frequent contaminations between life and art-as evident in the subjects of their works-as well as an elective affinity with the places that marked Thorel’s life, Paris and Naples. 

The exhibition Family & Friends presents a series of vintage photographic works by Paul Thorel, some previously unpublished and all made between 1986 and 1995, years in which the artist altered photographic portraits of family and friends to experiment with new digital technologies. Thorel, an artist and programmer, anticipates some of the digital manipulation tools that would become popular with the photo editing program Photoshop, launched in 1990 exclusively for Macintosh operators and from 1993 also for Microsoft Windows. 

The exhibition opens symbolically with the bronze sculpture Bust of Paola (1958-59), a portrait of Paola Caròla, psychoanalyst and student of Jacques Lacan and mother of Thorel; a commission that also marks the beginning of a friendship with Mr. and Mrs. Giacometti. The exhibition continues with works by Michel Auder: the photograph VIVA Positano (1968) dedicated to his first wife, actress and Andy Warhol’s muse, and Polaroid Cocaine (1993), a collection of images from books and magazines to which the artist entrusts the confession of his obsessive relationship with images. The work, a poignant journey between desire and destruction, is accompanied by music by Jean-Jacques Schuhl and the voice of Ingrid Caven.