Paola De Pietri, Walter Niedermayr. Parco casse d’espansione del fiume Secchia. 1994 - 1997

26.04.2024 > 09.06.2025

curated by William Guerrieri, Monica Leoni, Elisabeth Sciarretta
in collaboration with Linea di Confine for Contemporary Photography as part of Fotografia Europea 2024

Biblioteca Panizzi, Reggio Emilia

Linea di Confine per la Fotografia Contemporanea, based in Rubiera (province of Reggio Emilia), has been carrying out photographic research on the regional and national territory since 1990, with the support of a group of municipalities and institutions in the provinces of Reggio Emilia and Modena. Through the promotion of photographic research, the commissioning of renowned Italian and foreign photographers and the original experience of its photography workshops, Linea di Confine has been one of the most significant experiences on the Italian panorama of public commissions for over 30 years.
Since 2023, with the photographic archives of the Panizzi Library, the Municipality of Reggio Emilia has been entrusted by Linea di Confine with the housing of its entire photographic collection, so as to make it available to the citizens, to enrich it and to give it a second life and greater visibility. This exhibition is the first of a series of initiatives that will place the Linea di Confine collection at the forefront of the city’s photographic panorama.
The Linea di Confine survey project began in 1989 with the first photography workshop held by the photographer Guido Guidi in the area of the ‘Casse d’espansione del fiume Secchia’ (River Secchia Expansion Basins): a zone undergoing profound changes, where a consortium of bodies had just been set up to manage the area and protect a nature oasis. In 1994 and 1997, when the Linea di Confine project was gaining international importance, two photographers – Paola De Pietri and Walter Niedermayr – were commissioned to carry out a survey of the river park area.
Paola De Pietri was given the commission in 1994, and decided to carry out her observation by flying over the river park area in a hot-air balloon. The view from the balloon in flight would make it possible to produce images at a distance midway between the one provided by the usual topographical map, that from the aircraft and that of the eye of the visitor.
In 1997, the photographer Walter Niedermayr was commissioned to produce a series of diptychs questioning the fate of areas subjected to intense economic exploitation and then converted for sports and educational purposes, observing how parks represent our romantic claim to seek our own image in ‘unspoilt nature’.

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