Blind Magazine : photography at first sight
Close this search box.

Lisetta Carmi, Unrestrained

Gallerie D’Italia museum in Turin celebrates the life and work of multifaceted photographer Lisetta Carmi, who died on July 5, 2022 at age 98.

Born in 1924 in a bourgeois Jewish family in Genoa, Lisetta Carmi soon became an eclectic and anti-conformist character of the Italian scene. After a period in Switzerland where she escaped racial laws during the Fascist regime, she undertook a career as a pianist until 1960 and then dedicated the next twenty years to humanist, anthropological, political and experimental photography.

The port. Discharge of phosphates, Genoa, 1964 © Lisetta Carmi - Martini & Ronchetti

Eroticism and authoritarianism in Staglieno, 1966 © Lisetta Carmi - Martini & Ronchetti

Transvestites, La Cabiria, Genoa, 1965-1970 © Lisetta Carmi - Martini & Ronchetti

Cork factory, Calangianus, 1964 © Lisetta Carmi - Martini & Ronchetti

The exhibition displays 150 photographs belonging to various series, from the lives of transvestites, which became the subject of a cult book in the 70’s, to a project on factory workers and the documentation of her encounter with poet Ezra Pound. Music, which plays in two sections of the exhibition, accompanied for her whole life, until she recently died close to the ashram she opened in Southern Italy in 1979, founded to spread the spiritual practices learnt during her frequent trips to India.

Italsider, Genoa, 1964. © Lisetta Carmi - Martini & Ronchetti

Transvestites, Dalida, Genoa, 1965-1967 © Lisetta Carmi - Martini & Ronchetti

Metro, Paris, 1965 © Lisetta Carmi - Martini & Ronchetti

Ezra Pound, 1966 © Lisetta Carmi - Martini & Ronchetti

The exhibition “Lisetta Carmi. Suonare Forte” is on view at Gallerie d’Italia in Turin, until January 22, 2023.

Don’t miss the latest photographic news, subscribe to Blind newsletter.