Robert Capa – Retrospective


ROBERT CAPA – Retrospective

Curated by Maurizio Vanni
In collaboration with Magnum Photos
A production of MVIVA

from 5th July to 2nd November 2014

Enterprising, sensitive, brave, passionate, enthusiastic, generous, ironic, professional, idealist and disdainful of danger: Robert Capa, certainly the greatest war photoreporter of the Twentieth century, has often put his own life on the line to capture the emotional dramas and some of the most tragic moments of the last century on lens. His photos captivate us because they surprise us, they take our breath away, they make us feel bad and good at the same time. Works that do not correspond to a mere historical documentation, but that are connected to openings in space and time that catapult us inside the scene, forcing us to live it through all our senses. The auditory sensation is shocking: whether it is the whistle of the wind in a moment of stand-by or the unmistakable noise of an tank or the explosions joined with the shouts of pain during a conflict, we always have the impression that we can feel the scenario. Capa is always there, inside what he wants to immortalize, very close to the heart of the scenario itself, perpetuating – perhaps with tears in his eyes – moments that will make the history of history: “It’s not always easy to stand aside and be unable to do anything except record the sufferings around one”. 

The exhibition documents all “his” wars and some events that he personally witnessed: his first international assignment in Copenhagen for a conference by Trockij in 1932, the tumultuous parades in Paris in 1936, the civil war in Spain that same year, the resistance in China to the Japanese invasion of 1938, the Allied invasion of Sicily, Sorrento and Napoli in 1943, the Allied landings in Normandy in 1944, the invasion of Germany with American paratroopers  in 1945, the Russian experience of 1947, the official foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the trip to Indochina in  1954 where he lost his life. 

And his life, at least until the encounter with that cursed landmine in Indochina, bears witness to several difficulties overcome, a great many challenges won and lots of gambles that have put his being a photographer by mission and his own existence to the test. He will never completely get over the premature death of his beloved Gerda, but he will turn the pain into propulsion to chase the vital breath even by documenting death.