Lives in Cisternino
After interrupting her career as a pianist and having approached the workers’ struggles, from the 1960s Lisetta Carmi focused on portraying society’s poorly represented subjects and situations. Her photographs, among the first to introduce an artistic approach to documentary photography, highlight the dominant relations among class, gender, eroticism and power.
In the series Il parto (The Delivery, 1968), which derives from a commission of the Genua hospital, the artist chooses to avoid the rhetorical narrative generally constructed around this moment, forcing the viewers to face the corporality of birth with all its fluids. The female body is also present in Erotismo e autoritarismo a Staglieno (Eroticism and Authoritarianism in Staglieno, 1966), in which Carmi portrays the funeral sculptures of the tombs and mausoleums of the Genua cemetery. By means of peculiar angles, her images highlight the self- righteousness of the bourgeoisie and the paradoxes of religious stereotypes in relation to the underground and pervasive narrative of women’s role in society. The images recount a patriarchal society, where the protagonists of the sculptural groups are the males in each family.