Bio in italian and english about Peggy Kleiber

Peggy Kleiber – everyday life

Exhibition: Peggy Kleiber. Tutti i giorni della vita (fotografie 1959-1992)

The first exhibition in Italy by photographer Peggy Kleiber, Tutti i giorni della vita (fotografie 1959-1992) from 19 May to 15 October 2023 at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Rome.

This is the first monographic exhibition of the non-professional photographer Peggy Kleiber: a great iconographic heritage found in two suitcases containing about 15,000 photographs taken from 1959 to the early 1990s and coming from her archive.

The exhibition unfolds amidst images of a bygone era, sounds and silent voices in the viewer’s gaze, suggesting a narrative and leaving the viewer free to continue to imagine and recognise themselves.

There are 150 photographs in the exhibition with a selection of the author’s original vintage prints, some family albums and a video that traces the rediscovery of the archive through unpublished material and Super8 family films. The exhibition consists of two sections: one dedicated to the family and the other to her travels in Italy, particularly to Rome from the early 1960s. In the first section there are the photographs that Peggy took of her family over many years, during celebrations, weddings, births. Over the passage of time, an intimate and emotionally charged story is thus spontaneously built up, piece by piece.

In the second section, dedicated to her travels throughout Europe, the great attention devoted to Italy, almost a homeland of choice for her, stands out for its intensity. Peggy Kleiber manages to approach even the most marginal social strata, allowing herself to be enchanted by unknown places. In Rome, hers is a ‘flânerie’ not only literary and artistic, but also political and cultural: a journey that takes her from the historic centre (travelled far and wide in the less touristy corners and at often unusual times) to the city’s most extreme suburbs and the fringes of the borgate, precisely in the years in which writers such as Pasolini were discovering its stories.

However, her curiosity did not stop there, and Peggy Kleiber went on from Rome to discover hidden Italy: in particular Umbria and Tuscany, falling in love with the treasures of Art, but also Sicily, another beloved land, where she forged bonds that would last for years to come. Here she met again Danilo Dolci, whom she had already met in Switzerland, portraying him in some precious and unpublished photographs during the ‘strikes on the contrary’ and at the same time dwelling on the faces of the children of Partinico. Peggy Kleiber travels through her time and brings universal, collective history closer to intimate personal history with her discreet presence: in her soft black-and-white images, she manages to place a vital space between herself and the subject, which tells 40 years of rapidly changing world history.

Whether she turns her gaze to her own micro-family cosmos or places it on the peripheries of the world or the hidden life of cities, Peggy Kleiber guides us to slow observation, urges us to pay more attention to the emotions between people and to ‘subtle’ gestures, inviting us to discover something we thought we had forgotten.

Peggy Kleiber (Moutier 1940-2015) is the second child of a large family. Lively, sensitive, curious. Music teaches her the measure of time, rhythm and pauses, the right distance. A teacher of Literature, she left for Hamburg in 1961 to attend a photography school, the beginning of a passion that would last a lifetime. With her inseparable Leica M3, Peggy immortalised her family and from 1958 began to travel the world, devoting great attention to Italy: Rome and Sicily are two important chapters of her journey.

In 2006, Peggy produced the book ‘Rue Neuve 44, chronicle of family life‘, a gift for each member of her large family. “There is no happiness worth the inner silence,” wrote the French philosopher Simone Weil. For Peggy, this was not just a quote, but a life lesson.

The exhibition is promoted by Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Cultura – Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali and realised by the cultural associations Marmorata169 and On Image, with the collaboration of the association Les photographies de Peggy Kleiber. Museum services Zètema Progetto Cultura.

Source: Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Rome. Press release.

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Another past exhibition held in 2022 with more photos, information and magazine articles in french, Peggy KLEIBER (1940-2015) PHOTOGRAPHE HUMANISTE at galerie Humanit’Art, Genève.