w Michele Lombardelli

Musica Analfabeta


Musica Analfabeta (Illiterate Music) is a manifesto, a programmatic action that implements Jacopo Benassi’s performative experimentation as a tool to widen his photographic practice, by creating situations of sound and live shooting, centered on a self-ostensive gesture. Musica Analfabeta stems precisely from the urge to probe the liveness of the event and the audience, galvanizing its presence, and phisycally exposing himself to it. A storm of flashes and sounds, hurled by Benassi’s trumpet-camera and manipulated with the involvement of the sound-maker Michele Lombardelli.

Jacopo Benassi, photographer and artist, lives and works in La Spezia. Over the years, he has developed a personal style in which depth of field is eliminated and the light of the flash becomes a signature, a stylistic limit that he self-imposes to achieve photos that are raw and without any mediation. The subjects photographed are highly disparate ranging from the underground and international music scene – starting from his experience at the B-Tomic club, which he manages with some friends – to portraits of models, actresses, artists, designers published in the most important magazines, as well as investigations of the body, including self-portraits, documentation of sexual encounters, and ancient statuary. Benassi is also occasionally a performer and musician. His experimentation with performance is always linked to music and is mediated by the photographic image, the subject and object of his research. Recent solo shows: Matrice (2022) at Fondazione Carispezia in La Spezia, PAST (2021) at the Francesca Minini Gallery in Milan,Vuoto(2020) at the Centro Pecci in Prato, CRACK (2019) double exhibition at CAMERA – Italian Centre for Photography in Turin and at the European Photography Festival in Reggio Emilia, and Bologna Portraits (2019) at Palazzo Bentivoglio in Bologna. He has exhibited for FotoGrafia- International Festival of Rome (2009), Vade retro. Art and homosexuality from von Gloeden to Pierre et Gilles(2007) at Palazzina Reale in Florence, Aphotography(2005) at the Changing Role Gallery in Napoli, Artissima (2006-2007) in Turin. He has worked with directors and writers such as Paolo Sorrentino, Daniele Ciprì, Asia Argento, and Maurizio Maggiani, and with creative director Federico Pepe (for COCO, a music and videoart project, and for publications by Le Dictateur). In 2011 he opened Talkinass-Paper and Records and produced magazines and live CDs of artists on the underground scene. An active self-publisher, he has created limited-edition publications and a magazine produced in real time at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He has participated in events such as No Soul for Sale (2010) at the Tate Modern in London, curated by Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni. Recently, he has concentrated on creating performative and photographic displays on Live Shooting, resulting in the solo shows Hunt me down (2021) and UNISEX (2022), and the collaborations with some protagonists of the Italian performance, visual, and music scene: Lady Maru for Brutal Casual (duo active since 2020), Kinkaleri for No Title Yet (2017) and ONCE MORE (2020), Sissi for Rollers (2019). In 2009, the 1861 United Agency published The Ecology of Image, a large monograph of Benassi’s works. He also published the photographic books FAGS (NERO, 2020), Dying in Venice(Bruno, 2015), Bologna Portraits (Damiani, 2019), Mis Q Lee (Quinlan, 2018), and Gli aspetti irrilevanti (Mondadori, 2016) with Paolo Sorrentino. He released the LPs ONCE MORE with Kinkaleri (Xing, 2021) an Benassi plays Benassi (2019), a sonic and photographic self-documentation of his body, with remix by Khan of Finland and Jochen Arbeit. He has worked with numerous magazines in Italy and abroad, such as: Rolling Stone, GQ, Wired italia, Wired U.S.A, Riders, 11 Freunde, Crush Fanzine, Dapper Dan, Vice, Almaviva/Le Figaro, Gioia, and Purple.fr.

Michele Lombardelli (Cremona, 1968) is an eclectic artist, musician, collector and publisher. Solo exhibitions include: Spazio Kappanoun, Bologna; A+B Gallery, Brescia; Arrivada, Milan; La Rada, Locarno; Sala delle Colonne, Corbetta MI; MOT International, London; AMT, Milan; Bonelli Contemporary, Los Angeles; A+M bookstore, Milan; Museo Arte Contemporanea, Lissone. The following have also hosted his work: MA*GA, Gallarate; Assab One, Milan; CeSAC, Caraglio; Chateau de Chillon, Montreaux; La Triennale, Milan. His artist's books have been exhibited in institutions such as the National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome; Casa del Mantegna, Mantua; Musée Cantonal Des Beaux Arts, Lausanne; MA*GA Museum, Gallarate; La Triennale, Milan. His publications include: Echo Park Comfort Inn, A+M bookstore, Milan 2003; Los Angeles 1989/Tokyo 1991, Humboldt Books, Milan 2017 and California, Humboldt Books, Milan 2020, reported by Rolling Stone as one of the best seven photography books of the year.