The Rio Grande project is about the Rio Grande River as both geographical and political borderline between Texas and Mexico. From Brownsville, in the Gulf of Mexico, to El Paso, the river marks the natural and social division between the two countries.
The water itself is divided in two; half is Texan and half is Mexican.
The name of the river changes also: Rio Grande on the Texan side; Rio Bravo on the Mexican side.
This stretch of water has always been strategic in the history of USA and Mexico, and still is.
The Rio Grande River is a place rich with suggestions and contradictions: you can go from areas where you can easily walk along the river and peacefully enjoy an unbounded natural environment, to other areas where the serenity has been shattered by construction of the wall meant to “protect” the border.
There are places where the American side and the Mexican side look very similar to each other, reflecting as a mirror, sometimes looking like one land with no sense of separation at all. In other places the fence puts you in front of the duality between the freedom of nature and the limitations of society.
I focused on the river as a visible but invisible line because, as both a natural and social boundary, it is very symbolic of the barriers that we put between each other as human beings, and of the complicated interactions between people and landscape.
Francesca Bontempi was born in Rome, Italy, in 1977. She actually lives between Italy and Usa.
She received her BA Degree from the “Scuola Romana di Fotografia” of Rome in 2004, after a 3 years Course of Photography.
She received her MFA Degree in Cinema and Photography from the First University of Rome, “La Sapienza University”, in 2007, writing a dissertation in Photography History on “William Eggleston and The American Uncanny”. She has mentored under photographic greats including Gianni Berengo Gardin and Paolo Pellegrin and currently holds a position as a Photography Professor in Rome. Her recent work includes both more contemporary Giclee prints with her series “In Between” and more traditional Silver Gelatin prints as in her Time Tables series.
Her photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are included in many collections worldwide.
2010 CineCampus 2010, Cinema Workshop with Vincenzo Cerami, Valeria Golino, Aureliano Amadei, Saverio Costanzo e Francesca CalvelliSelected by Roma Lazio Film Commission, on the occasion of the Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma
2008 Workshop with Gianni Berengo Gardin
2007/2004 BA of ARTS in Photography and Cinema Arti e Scienze dello Spettacolo, Curriculum Cinema, Thesis in History of Photography on “William Eggleston and the American Uncanny”“La Sapienza Università di Roma”, Roma
2004 Workshop with Stanley GreenWorkshop with Michael AckermanSeminars with Paolo Pellegrin, Massimo Siragusa, Lorenzo Castore, Ivo Saglietti, Enzo Cei
2004/2001 Photography Diploma, Triennial Master of Professional Photography, “Scuola Romana di Fotografia”, Roma2001Workshop with Ernesto Bazan
Memory, De Santos Gallery, Houston, Usa
Direct Objects:Still Life as Subject, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, Usa
Italian Emerging Photography, Italian Cultural Institute of Paris, Paris
Art of Photography Show, Lyceum Theatre, San Diego, Usa
PhotoPlace Open 2010, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, Usa
Salt of the Earth, Spazio Ipotesi, Isola d’Elba
Senigallia Città della Fotografia, Palazzo del Duca, Senigallia
Viva gli Anziani, Comunità di Sant’Egidio, Palazzo Leopardi Roma?Ecce Homo, Castello di San Pietro, San Pietro in Cerro, Piacenza?Cromosoma X, Galleria Sottopasso della Stua, Padova?Cromosoma X, Galleria Joyce & co., Genova
Cromosoma X, Loggia di San Sebastiano, Ovada?Cromosoma X, Galleria d’arte Sabrina Raffaghello, Ovada?Personale, Spazio incontri d’arte Fuorionda, Roma?Il Tuscolo, Scuderie Aldobrandini, Frascati
De Santos Gallery, Houston, Usa Musinf, Museo comunale d’arte moderna, dell’informazione, della fotografia, Senigallia, Italia
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Usa
Vermont Photography Workplace, Middlebury, Usa
Private Collections, Italia/Usa
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