The prison theme is a very important issue for the historical period we are living. An exhibition is on display inside an ancient detention facility and interesting to know the life conditions of prisoners. Malatesta fortress was built based on the design of Antonio da Sangallo and strongly wanted by Pope Paul III: it was erected in a matter of months. The aim was to control the town but only later it turned into the Vatican jail with some changes to the original Renaissance structure.
After the prison was moved to the new building in Marino del Tronto, Paolo Raimondi took numerous photographs of the interiors of the jail and rooms, thanks to his creativity we can now experience how the prison looked like.
Images made on the daytime which thanks to the sunlight by loopholes, let us note inscriptions or graffiti and let us know the terrible conditions of prisoners.

Art is bringing new light in these places that have witnessed to the long overtime for prisoners who never had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty that is the key and the occasion of redemption and moral freedom. For this reason there are two site-specific locations by young rising artists Benedetta Fioravanti and Matteo Costanzo inspired by the jail disturbing atmospheres. They are flanked by the photos of the prison in order to let us experience on the pain and sufferings of prisoners. Valerio Bispuri, author of a reportage of ten years male and female South America prisons, shows us the miserable reality of the detention life: their rawness seem not to give assistance or the willpower of salvation: voices, laments of those who lived here seem echoing in this place where light and beauty have taken the place of the darkness.

Stefano Papetti

BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOW, LIFE IN PRISON is the opportunity to reconsider the mistake as a creative force, a starting point for a new future. The exhibition is made of the findings of such photographic discoveries of the fortress on its final location. For this reason the exhibition is based on the last 30 years of the prison. The exhibition is in the form of a tale created by Paolo Raimondi who shapes the historical memory of this place with his journey characterized by flashes of light. After the building adaptation from former prison to a museum location, the majority of what was left behind after the restoration was lost. Nowadays the historical building could be considered a sort of temporal hybrid connecting past and present, where the ancient memory is redesigning the spaces.

BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOW, LIFE IN PRISON is a way to see the story in a different light that shows the signs of those who lived the jail experience and asks questions about the concepts “mistake” and “punishment”. In this story the mistake takes on a different shape compared to the negative meaning of the Western world where the words “guilt” and “crime” highlight the idea of permanent and intolerability for human beings, destined to be deleted and forgotten in order to restore a condition of original purity. The definition of mistake as found in the dictionary is: an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong.
The exhibition presents a dialogue between the photodocumentary tale by Paolo Raimondi and the work “Prigioni” by the photoreporter Valerio Bispuri, made from 2015 to 2019. The first one examines the traces of the past, the second one emphazises the mental and emotional conditions in the Italian penitentiaries, the prisoners’ social marginalization and sacrifice. Next to the photographic projects, there are two site-specific art locations made for the occasion by Benedetta Fioravanti and Matteo Costanzo. The whole journey of the exhibition seeks to the theme of the mistake shined by new “productive” lights. Thus the works on display show, through different perspectives, the role of the failure which may acquire an educational role. Finally Malatesta fortress wants to reclaim its own history with a new civic and social awareness, changing idea about what is considered wrong. In a society where everything appears flawless in terms of performance, imperfection acquires a different meaning: a sign for generations to come.

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