Francesco Zanot (photography critic and curator)

A photography critic and curator, Zanot has curated exhibitions and written books about many international photographers. In recent years he has curated publications dedicated to artists such as Mark Cohen, Guido Guidi, Olivo Barbieri, Luigi Ghirri, Takashi Homma, Linda Fregni Nagler, Francesco Jodice, Boris Mikhailov, as well as Erik Kesselsʼs last retrospective The Many Lives of Erik Kessels. Together with Alec Soth, he is the author of the essay Ping Pong Conversations. Director of the Master in Photography organised by the NABA, Milan, he has given classes, conferences and lectures in numerous academic institutions, among them the Columbia University, New York, ECAL, Lausanne, and IUAV, Venice. He curated the inaugural exhibition Give Me Yesterday at the Fondazione Prada Osservatorio in Milan.

March 28, 2019

The Battle for Realism

The pioneers (1) Niépce and Daguerre

“I made a dissolution of silver nitrate, much diluted by water, in the same proportions as those indicated in the report above on Photographie, to which I also refer for those who have never made a silver solution in nitric acid. I wetted one side of a thin paper sheet; I laid it out at the back of the camera obscura1 by sticking it on its edges, to keep it flat. I placed the camera obscura vertically, opposite some houses in front of my window, in such a way that the lens was vertical; and by being parallel to it, the paper received the image in full. I left the camera obscura in that state for two hours, at the end of which I went to see, and I found that the silver nitrate had become brown in the places which had received light…”2