One, No One and One Hundred Thousand

One, No One and One Hundred Thousand

One, No One and One Hundred Thousand

Montanari’s first major solo exhibition ‘One, No One and One Hundred Thousand’ includes sequences of photographs that expose the concentration and passion of individual artists as they work towards one piece or an entire exhibition.

Elio Montanari independently photographed hundreds of artists producing, installing and rehearsing their works for major art events and exhibitions around the world from the early 1980s up until 2005.

His exhaustive personal archive, housed in Fener in Istanbul, comprises over 500,000 negatives and dia-positives, which capture intimate moments shared with artists forming their work while supported by assistants, curators and peers.

A majority of Montanari’s negatives have remained untouched for almost 30 years. His work offers an opportunity to assess the photographer–artist–curator relationships of a former era and how these adjusted over time; the physical energy and long commitment devoted to creative production and how these too have changed as new technologies take hold; and the role and canonical value of a document to satisfy the need for certitude. 

Montanari’s first major solo exhibition “One, No One and One Hundred Thousand” at SALT Galata includes sequences of photographs that expose the concentration and passion of individual artists as they work towards one piece or an entire exhibition. Ten important and historically significant moments of production are hung throughout the building of SALT Galata; they include practitioners such as Matthew Barney, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Catherine David, Alanna Heiss, Jannis Kounellis, Marisa Merz, Claes Oldenburg and Emilio Vedova. The main exhibition hall acts as a portrait gallery, gathering photographs of some of the most respected curators, artists and arts professionals working during the 1980s and 1990s, along with an homage to the artist James Lee Byars. 

Architect and photographer Elio Montanari was born in Ravenna in 1944. He lives and works in Istanbul. Previous exhibitions include İndici, Italian Institute of Culture, Ankara and the Venice Biennal (2011); Teşekkür, Italian Institute of Culture, İstanbul (2007); Diyarbakırİstanbul, Diyarbakır (2006). Montanari’s photographs have been published in a wide range of magazines, professional journals and art catalogues.

First major solo exhibition

On the other hand, on the occasion of Elio Montanari’s first major solo exhibition “One, No One and One Hundred Thousand,” curator Catherine David opened the floor by tracing the special bond formed between the photographer and the artist. She illuminated the network of confidence established between the photographer, artistic collaborators and the existence of an archive of documents, for artists and performers from the 1950’s until the end of the 1970’s. 

Montanari then joined David to comment on why he chose to focus more on the labor of the work of art than the author and how this is expressed in his exhibition of over 200 photographs dating from 1982 up until the 9th Istanbul Biennial that took place in 2005. 

David and Montanari first met in 1994 when David was a curator at Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris where Montanari photographed Pier Paolo Calzolari installing his solo exhibition Pier Paolo Calzolari.

Catherine David was a curator at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou from 1982 – 1990 and at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, from 1990 to 1994. From 1994 to 1997 David served as Artistic Director for Documenta X in Kassel, Germany. In 2008 she was awarded the CCS Bard Award for Curatorial Excellence. 

On Oct. 8, 11, Nov. 15, 19 and Dec. 17, SALT Interpretation invites high school students to participate in a workshop, titled “Conscious, Subconscious and Photography,” which aims to develop students’ photography knowledge and skills. The workshop will encourage participants to question the rhythmic synchronization between photography and daily life and how the details of daily life are reflected through photography subconsciously. These workshops, led by photographer Dilan Bozyel, are organized within the scope of Elio Montanari’s photography exhibition at SALT Galata, titled “One, No One and One Hundred Thousand.” 

Workshops on photography

Starting with an exhibition tour led by the SALT Interpretation team, the workshop program will focus on Montanari’s works as well as the photographer’s inspiration, psychology and subconscious tendencies. During the workshop, students will carry out activities to explore the subconscious mind through chosen words, images, tastes, colors and music. They will also understand the ways that analogue photography works, by learning to build a 35mm “Do-It-Yourself” SLR camera. At the end of the workshop, each student will create his/her own collage by using different materials based on the concept of a chosen word that is drawn from a subjective reading of the works in the exhibition. All projects will be exhibited on Pinterest.

Dilan Bozyel (1985, Diyarbakır) studied advertising, art management and photography.