Recent Italian Journal
News from the Italian Academy Foundation, Inc.
Volume 20. Number XI.
PHOTOGRAPHIC / PHOTOGENIC
Italy as seen through the eyes of a few of its photographers.
In the Issue
By Claudia PALMIRA ACUNTO
At a recent talk at Rome’s MAXXI Museum, Ferdinando Scianna recounted being asked if he considered himself an artist. Paraphrasing him, he said, No, I’m not an artist, I’m a photographer.
The Michelozzo Library at the Museum of San Marco in Florence reopened after undergoing an urgent one-year renovation, including restoration of the floor’s original design and the addition of panels that depict the library’s history.
British Scientist Peter T. Kirstein, a key figure in the creation and internationalization of the internet, received the 2015 Marconi Prize.
The Whitney Museum of American Art opened its new home in the Meatpacking District between the High Line and the Hudson River with inaugural exhibition America is Hard to See.
New York’s beloved Italian bookstore, formerly situated on 57th Street, plans to re-open in 2015.
Alessandro Michele was named Creative Director of fashion giant Gucci.
Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella visited Manhattan in early March, 2015 to encourage investment in Florence through real estate and tourism ventures.
Alberto MILANI, CEO of Buccellati INC., is the new president of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce (IACC).
Italy’s Carabinieri recovered €50 million worth of stolen national treasures in January 2015.
From May 1 to October 31 2015, Milan hosts a world’s fair with the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.”
Tullio Lombardo’s Adam is the only signed piece created to decorate the colossal tomb of Venice’s Doge Andrea Vendramin and one of the few Renaissance masterpieces outside of Italy.
By Veronica Maria WHITE
A remarkable French Baroque artist helps establish a genre
By David A. LEWIS
We live in an age saturated by printed photographs, motion pictures, broadcast media, and digital dis- plays. A constant stream of photographic images variously delight, confront, and perplex us.
“All my work is born out of a moment of emotion, all my photography is the result of a particular encounter that determines my unique state of being. It’s as is the forms, the objects, the landscapes and the light were preparing for me, always awaiting me. Beneath an appearance of normalcy, my works hold and evoke a deep stirring inside of me for all that has occurred or will occur; and reveal memories of times past.”
“Taking photographs is an act of knowledge – it is a taking possession. What we photograph are not images but reproductions of ourselves. Creativity does not illustrate or imitate. It interprets, thus becoming the quest for an ideal truth. Creative photography does not reproduce but interprets by making the invisible visible.”
G. Berengo GARDIIN
“The photographer views the world differently from non-photographers because the photographer wants to – I don’t want to say seal – but appreciate the situation.”
Works from the exhibition “Italia Inside Out” at Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia, Milan through June 21, 2015
Charles H. TRAUB
“Italy looked to me like a dystopia whose inhabitants acted as if they were living in heaven. Not all of them, of course, but many. And those many ended up in my pictures. I thought they might be viewed as typical, you know, not universal types, but common enough to be significant in a representative way.”
“As a photographer, my fate is to remain forever hostage to my own gaze, destined to the mission of memory, to the circular motion of nostalgia.”
By Davide BRAMANTE
“My way of photographing is identical to the way I remember, think, dream, hope and imagine. Everything happens through the overlapping of time and space. I use photography in the same way as I use my mind.”
“In short, people are always my most important source of inspiration, and I love Rome.”
By Marina SPUNTA
Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992) is widely recognized in Italy (and, increasingly, abroad) as a leading photographer who since the 1970s gave a new impetus to Italian photography and a new aesthetic identity to everyday places, while contributing to founding an ‘Italian school of (landscape) photography’.
“Photography is an instrument that creates emotions without the barrier of perfection. It is exactly through imperfection that emotions emerge. I started with polaroid, but my search for emotional strength has been going on also in the digital age. To me, photography is a means to devour reality and capture the magic hidden behind it.”
Paola DI BELLO
“The visual expedient is a method to express the overcoming of preconceived visions and to establish a “surprise” visual that produces deeper insight into phenomena. I am interested in showing a second version of reality.
“Photography is an immense, inexhaustible source of ideas, notes, memories – a method to mark time and its passage. It is the sign of the present that leaves traces of itself. In my research, photography is always present as a timely look at the surroundings, thanks to the ability of synthesis in which even a single shot becomes a story.”
Marina Ballo CHARMET
“A sacred subject is the everyday one – the ‘always seen’, ‘the background noise in our minds’. My view is characterized by a perceptual mobility, out of focus and sideways – similar to a childlike vision, which reconstitutes a fluctuating vision, a ‘peripheral awareness’, not centrally related to our preconceptions. A vision opposite to anthropocentrism.”
Images of motion express ethereal
“I go back to places I know, but they are changing. I know these places, but they are new to me at the same time. So I realized that the horizon is a mental line that I was starting to visualize in terms of experience, in terms of knowledge, dreams and so on.”
“I love photographing Rome, it is the city I live in and where I experience the daily tension between the ancient backbone and the need to accommodate the contemporary flow.”
A March 2015 conference at the American Academy of Rome addresses the role of Photography in Italian Art History
By Amanda SZTEIN
A brief look at Alinari, the hub of photography, its preservation and evolution from the dawn of the art itself
“PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE ART OF STORYTELLING WITHOUT WORDS; GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY NOT ONLY INCORPORATES ALL THE OBVIOUS TECHNICAL SKILLS, BUT ALSO, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT CONVEYS EMOTION.”
By Nicoletta LEONARDI
Two historical examples include Marie Sophie and Ghitta Carrell
By Ludovica ROSSI PURINI
An interview with Mario Peliti
By Gianluca MARZIANI
Italian photography never disappoints: years pass and new names are added to the landscape of talent that is constantly emerging.
By Laura GIACALONE
￼CHARLES H. TRAUB, DOLCE VIA: ITALY IN THE 1980S. DAMIANI, 2014.
By Barbara ZORZOLI
Since the beginning of the 20th century photography has been an extremely successful means to promote fashion all over the world.
Rome’s MAXXI Museum highlights Italy’s rich fashion design past with the exhibition Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968.
photography by Mauro BENEDETTI The City as a landscape, its roughness smoothed out through the photographer’s art–acknowledging the sky (not far) above its myriad ceilings and spires.
Etcetera Opening at MAXXI Museum, Rome John Cabot University Gala at the Union League Club La Scuola Marconi Gala at Cipriani
Some faces suit their era, some faces seem to tran- scend reality for the moment before they are for- gotten, and some faces, regardless of time and age, are simply unforgettable.