Antonio Ottomanelli

Antonio Ottomanelli studied architecture in Milan and Lisbon. Till 2012 he was Adjunct Professor at the architecture planning department – Milan polytechnic.

Author brief biography

His training led him to develop an interest in photography as a tool with which to investigate the territory, not so much in terms of landscape or cityscape, but as an indicator of social dynamics and geopolitical tensions.

Ever in search of the deepest motivations underlying the issues that determine global equilibria or local vicissitudes, Ottomanelli does not photograph events, be they wars, revolutions or protests, but rather the tangible signs of the tensions underpinning them.

Antonio Ottomanelli’s work has been presented in numerous international festivals and institutions, in Berlin, Arles, San Paolo, Dallas, New York, London, Holon and Amman. He has exhibited in both solo and group shows in Italy and abroad.

In 2013, his first solo exhibition, Collateral Landscape, curated by Joseph Grima, was staged by the Milan Triennale Museum.

In 2013 he took part in the first Istanbul Design Biennial.

In 2014 he took part in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice as
well as in the first Istanbul Design Biennial.

On January 2016, the solo exhibition Kabul+Baghdad curated by Francesco
Zanot, was staged by CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia. The exhibition was the first of a series of exhibitions on young Italian photographers.

On June 2016 he was nominated FOAM Talent 2016. One of the most prestigious awards wolrdwide, given each and every year to a selection of exceptionally talented photographers between the ages of 18 and 35 from all across the world.

On October 2016 the solo exhibition Eye-Hand Span curated by Nora Akawi was staged by Montrasio Arte in Milan.

On April 2017 his work was staged for the first time in New York by Red Hook Labs, the exhibition was promoted and produced by the Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.

On May 2017 his work was staged in London by Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, during the PhotoLondon fair and festival.

Curatorial projects

In January 2014 he founded, together with Lorenza Baroncelli, Marco Ferrari, Joseph Grima and Elisa Pasqual, White Hole Gallery, a remotely-controlled micro-gallery in Genoa (Italy), combining strategies of artistic practice and journalism to investigate, document and debate the forces — visible and invisible — that shape society and the landscape.

In 2016 he founded, together with Anna Vasta, Planar. Planar is an organization based in Bari (IT). Planar’s research focuses on the study of the relationship between the main factors that determine the contemporaneity of the global landscape in which we live, in its material and immaterial dimensions. Planar inquires, through visual art tools, the relationships between technological evolution, authority, landscape transformations and daily life. Throughout different activities and devices including editorial and curatorial projects, Planar aims to create an environment for discussion, debate, research and education.

Planar especially aims to be an European outpost for cultural exchanges with the Arab world. Main goal of Planar is to allow partnerships between private companies, artists and projects through specific research programs, placing them in a coordinated framework for visibility and relations with the Arab world.

In 2016 was opened Planar Gallery; a storefront art gallery with printing and publishing lab.

He is the editor in chief of the publishing house Planar Books which is placed inside the Planar Gallery.

He is co-curator, together with Jawad Dukhgan, of Lessons of a City, an Exhibition stammed from Frozen Imaginaries, a research project promoted by StudioX Amman - Columbia Global Center Middle East, Columbia University GSAPP. Lessons of a City is a research initiative mapping stopped construction sites and failed real estate speculation in Amman, in relation to the various master plans drawn for the city, its recent history and the geopolitics of the Mashriq.

He is the curator of OIGO, an International Observatory of Major Works dedicated to the observation of the impact of major infrastructure works on territorial and social changes. OIGO is a project developed with the high patronage of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT), the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (MIT), sponsored by Contship Group, ANAS spa and WillisTower & Watson.
OIGO has produced The Third Island, a visual investigation on the Calabria region and the A3 highway, which was the first of a series of photography campaigns involving a selection of ten european photographers in order to document the effects of human interventions and natural disasters on the european Environment.

The volume The Third Island, collecting the results of the photography campaign, was published in 2016.

He is the co-curator of Verso Il Mediterraneo; the exhibition stammed from the research project The Third Island, promoted by OIGO, staged by Palazzo Poli (National Chalcography Institute for Graphics) in Rome. The exhibition was the first of a series of initiative and event produced by ANAS spa celebrating the opening of the new A3 highway.