Seconda scelta | Second choice with Gerry Johansson and Allegra Martin


Seconda scelta | Second choice
Not a second choice, but a choice that leads to another.

In this annual project, one of the masters of photography will choose a younger talent who they think deserves a place in the spotlight. For this issue, we asked photographer Gerry Johansson to participate and designate an artist he finds interesting. His choice fell on the Italian photographer Allegra Martin. When the photographers converge side by side we find Stefan Lorenzutti´s text which describes a strong affinity between these two artists from different generations. It is as if we are progressing into the same world of images, one in black and white and the other in color. We are in the middle of what Lorenzutti describes as “the moment between clock´s tick and clock´s tock.”

As a result of this collaboration, we are happy to present Allegra Martins first solo-show in Sweden.
Meanwhile and elsewhere—we are now in Lido Adriano, a seaside holiday settlement in north-eastern central Italy, hugging the Adriatic coast, and within hoofing distance of the city of Ravenna to its west—Allegra Martin and her shadow are likewise going about the shoe-leather business of aimlessly wandering with rigorous intent. By Allegra Martin I mean Allegra Martin the photographer and, with Gerry Johansson still very much in mind, kindred, camera-toting ambulatory spirit. By her shadow I mean the projected autobiographical imprint of her wandering self, which she quite purposely allows to overlay her photographs of a somnolent beach town’s cloistered interior (Martin deliberately avoids Lido Adriano’s beaches themselves, eschewing the coast’s exhibitionist streak in favor of the interior’s wish to remain hidden) and occasionally-sighted migratory fauna: holidaying humans wearing their skin and sun hats and not really doing anything as they torpidly but wisely wait out the doggiest of dog day afternoons.
These photographs contain, no doubt, a bounty of “I spy with my little eye” detail, as well as their own ambiguously suspended (that word again) nutshell narratives—albeit narratives stuck and stickily submerged in the day’s molasses heat and humidity. But the first thing I notice here is that which is invisibly underpinning not only Martin’s images themselves but the very act and fact of her having decided (bothered!) to lift a camera in the first place: her just having been there that time when nothing much happened and yet it was all weirdly worth remembering.

If Gerry Johansson has captured the moment between a clock’s ticks, then Allegra Martin has captured a never-ending moment in which one coastal town’s clocks, perhaps having melted internally, have stopped ticking altogether.

Extract from the essay Meanwhile by Stefan Lorenzutti.

Lido, Ravenna, and Deserto Rosso by Allegra Martin (1980, Italy)
Several exhibitions since the early 2000s. This year her first book, Lido, was published. Lives and works in Milan.
www.allegramartin.it

Amerika after 1997* by Gerry Johansson (1945, Sweden)
Been working as a photographer since the sixties. Produced several books. First book Amerika released in 1998.
www.gerryjohansson.com
*Gerry Johansson’s photographs, drawn from the series Amerika after 1997, have never before been published.

Meanwhile by Stefan Lorenzutti (1984, Brooklyn)
A writer and editor. He lives and works in the mountaintop hamlet of Jeżowa Woda, in the Beskid range of southern Poland. www.boredwolves.org

With support from Malmö City and Folkuniversitetet.