Text by: Fiammetta Cesana

After the successful anthological show “Lisetta Carmi. The beauty of truth” in Rome, from April 2 to June 4 the Milanese exhibition space Le Case d’Arte hosts the works of the Genoese photographer.

Taken from 1962 to 1970, the series includes portraits of Italian renowned people, from the painter and founder of Spatialist movement Lucio Fontana, to the singer Gino Paoli, the poet Edoardo Sanguineti, till the actor and filmmaker Carmelo Bene. “Ritratti” tells about a chapter of what the artist herself describes as her second life (out of five), as it is reported in the book “Le cinque vite di Lisetta Carmi” (The five life of Lisetta Carmi) by Giovanna Calvenzi.


Who is Lisetta Carmi?

Born in 1924 in Genoa, in 1960s, the young Lisetta started her long story with photography when, after abandoning a promising career as pianist, was encouraged by her friend Leo Levi to go to Apulia to document the Jewish songs. Her strong commitment to civil and social issues made Lisetta the “visual” voice of the poorest, of the ones who suffer from world’s injustice and who can’t speak by themselves. From the project “Genoa port: monopolies and worker power”, in which she denounced  the exploitation of longshoremen, to “Erotism and authoritarianism in Staglieno” dedicated to the cemetery of Staglieno (Genoa), one of the most important European monumental cemeteries, till her 10-years-project “I travestiti” (The drags), that was very audacious for the time. Two photographs of this series are exhibited at the ongoing show at Le Case d’Arte. Then, in 1977, the artist got apart from photography, leaving her second life to reach the third one, the spiritual one, after the encounter with the Indian guru Babaji. Today, Lisetta is 95 and lives in Apulia, next to the Ashram founded by herself. 

Le Case d’Arte, Milan
From April 2 to June 4