L’Italia è un desiderio

Fotografie, paesaggi e visioni 1842 – 2022. Le collezioni Alinari e Mufoco

01.06.2023 > 02.09.2023

curated by Matteo Balduzzi, Rita Scartoni
Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome

The exhibition L’Italia è un desiderio presents a wide selection of images from the archives and collections of the Alinari Foundation for Photography and the Mufoco - Museum of Contemporary Photography, covering an extremely broad timeframe: from the beginnings of landscape photography to the contemporary era. Through a chronological succession of techniques, languages, and visions, the exhibition allows us to retrace the evolution of the modes of representation of the Italian peninsula, appreciating its beauty, which has long been presented as a model, while also measuring its contradictions.

The rooms of the Scuderie del Quirinale display over 600 original works characterized by a great wealth of techniques, materials, formats, and presentation methods. The exhibition begins with photographs from the Alinari Archives and continues with works from the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography. The exhibition is enriched by a series of sparks, moments of direct and unexpected dialogue between the two collections, juxtapositions of works that are distant from each other in time but assimilable according to various registers, ranging from the point of view to the technique, from the language to the represented place, from the addressed themes to the infinite possible suggestions, references, and associations.

The journey through the exhibition thus transforms into a true journey in Italy: from the almost painterly photographic views of the Alinari Brothers to the "natural framings" from the north to the south of Italy by Luigi Ghirri, from the portraits of Milanese factories by Gabriele Basilico to the first backlit negatives, and up to the latest research where photography increasingly opens up to other media. At the end of the exhibition, there remains a broad idea of the landscape, which introduces immaterial and abstract dimensions - psychological, poetic, political - that leave room for interpretation by the public. The project does not aim to reconstruct a history of Italian photography but to involve the visitor - through the images of the two collections - in a unique and precious travel experience."

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