Milan Image Art Fair, The Mall, Porta Nuova Varesine, Milan

The fifth edition of the Milan Image Art Fair, dedicated to photography, will open in the new location of Porta Nuova Varesine this April. The event will take place in The Mall, a centre nestled among the skyscrapers that have changed the city skyline, which has become a symbol of the new Milan. A section on the main themes of Expo 2015 will be presented as part of the fair. This year sees the richest and most wide-ranging edition of MIA Fair with an anticipated 145 exhibitors and a broad cultural programme, all directed by Fabio Castelli.

In 2015, the fair has invited galleries to present a group show inspired by themes including Feeding and Women & Expo, in addition to the formula of previous years where each gallery exhibits exclusively the work of one artist per booth.

La chambre claire, an essay by Roland Barthes provides the starting point for a series of conferences organised to coincide with MIA Fair’s opening days. On the 100th anniversary of the birth of the French intellectual, this fundamental text, which explores the image as it is perceived and experienced in contemporary life, provides stimulus for the programme devised by Gianluigi Ricuperati.

MIA Fair will also host a number of photography projects, including a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, one of the world’s foremost photography institutions, as the fair welcomes the director Tatyana Franck. The event also invites lawyers Cristina Manasse and Joe Baio, who will discuss some of the most infamous cases of use and misappropriation of images, as well as the effect of selfies, social networks and privacy on photographic world.

Making its debut in Italy is the performance Economic Body, conceived by Swedish choreographer Anna-mi Fredriksson. The project attempts to portray social sciences through forms of participatory art, such as dance. It involves the audience in the sharing of concepts relating to subjects such as economy, politics and demography, which are often perceived as heavy, even impenetrable to the general public, making them accessible through art.

Among the exhibitions, MIA Fair will have two in-depth analyses. The first will focus on the artist book, from the 1970s to present today, featuring a selection of projects by artists including Olivo Barbieri and Italo Zannier. The other is a study on a 19th century Italian artist who, more than any other, recognised and adopted the potential of the brand new art of photography as a tool for enriching his painting: Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.

Milan Image Art Fair, 11 -13 April, The Mall, Porta Nuova Varesine, Milan.

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1. Roberto Kusterle, La portatrice di mele marce, 2014. Courtesy Galleria Copetti.