Dagger James Lee Byars, Elio Montanari

artist Elio Montanari
term intuition
year 1989
courtesy of Castello di Rivoli, Turin
picture / document elio-montanari-dagger-james-lee-byars-1989.jpg

One, No One and One Hundred Thousand exhibition at SALT: Elio Montanari independently photographed hundreds of artists producing, installing and rehearsing their works for major art events and exhibitions around the world from the early 1980s up until 2005. His exhaustive personal archive, housed in Fener in Istanbul, comprises over 500,000 negatives and dia-positives, which capture intimate moments shared with artists forming their work while supported by assistants, curators and peers.

A majority of Montanari’s negatives have remained untouched for almost thirty years. His work offers an opportunity to assess the photographer - artist - curator relationships of a former era and how these adjusted over time; the physical energy and long commitment devoted to creative production and how these too have changed as new technologies take hold; and the role and canonical value of a document to satisfy the need for certitude. 

Montanari’s first major solo exhibition One, No One and One Hundred Thousand at SALT Galata includes sequences of photographs that expose the concentration and passion of individual artists as they work towards one piece or an entire exhibition. Ten important and historically significant moments of production will be hung throughout the building of SALT Galata; they include practitioners such as Matthew Barney, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Catherine David, Alanna Heiss, Jannis Kounellis, Marisa Merz, Claes Oldenburg and Emilio Vedova. The main exhibition hall will act as a portrait gallery, gathering photographs of some of the most respected curators, artists and arts professionals working during the 1980s and 1990s, along with an homage to the artist James Lee Byars.


Architect and photographer Elio Montanari was born in Ravenna in 1944. He lives and works in Istanbul. Previous exhibitions include İndici, Italian Institute of Culture, Ankara and the Venice Biennal (2011); Teşekkür, Italian Institute of Culture, Istanbul (2007); Diyarbakırİstanbul, Diyarbakır (2006). Montanari’s photographs have been published in a wide range of magazines, professional journals and art catalogues.



seminar recordings

Meriç Öner, intuition, 11:55 min, 2014, MG+MSUM

affiliated institution