Viaggio in Italia? Omaggio a Luigi Ghirri
Installation curated by Steve Bisson
Partecipants: Alessandro Calabrese, Alessandro Ligato, Allegra Martin, Andrea Bosio, Anna Positano, Daniele Cinciripini, David Wilson, Fabrizio Vatieri, Fabrizio Saiu, Fulvio Bortolozzo, Gianfranco Gallucci, Giovanni Pasinato, Giuseppe De Mattia, Luca Capuano, Milo Montelli, Nicola Mazzuia
Galleria Browning, Asolo
01.11.2013 – 10.11.2013
Opening: November 1, 2013, at 18:00
Open saturday and sunday (11:00 - 12:30 e 16:00-19:30) or by appointment
«In 1984, 30 years after the famous film by Roberto Rossellini with Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders ‘Viaggio in Italia’ (Journey to Italy), the photographer Luigi Ghirri, with the same title, opens the project that marks the history of photography and research on the Italian landscape. The survey involved a large group of photographers from Gabriele Basilico to Olivo Barbieri, from Guido Guidi to Vincenzo Castella to name just a few. These authors have marked a fundamental discontinuity in the way the photographer relates to the territory, influencing generations (not just photograhers) in the following decades.
After further 30 years, it is worth to ask ourselves where this journey has brought us, but even more where are we going? What is the future? Friedrich Nietzsche more than a century ago warned us, prospecting nihilism, that God is dead, in the sense that God no longer makes the world, and so the optimism at the base of Western culture has collapsed. The future is no longer a promise, is unpredictable and perhaps even a threat. So we live in an eternal present, because the look to the future is frightening, and thus the existential risk is to roll towards an infinite nothing. And there is nothing really more actual than this if I think of the Italy I live in and to the younger people.
If it is true that today we live in a nihilistic culture that has nothing to do with the future, it’s important, as Martin Heidegger suggested, not to put it on the door but to look it straight in the face. No resignation but the will to take note of it. And it is this attitude that we inherit from Ghirri and other conscious photographers. The criticism consists in the problematization of the obvious, that in terms of “landscape”, means putting in crisis, do not be satisfied of what you see.
Therefore it is essential to be aware of the situation in which we live, and of the main news: the man is no longer the subject of history, as deposed by technology, the highest form of rationality, even higher than the economy which still suffers from a passion, that of money. The age of technology has been anticipated intuitively by Hegel who wrote that when a phenomenon increases quantitatively it causes a qualitative change of the landscape. With Marx, we can say that the technique, once a means, has now became the purpose. Today one no longer understands what is beautiful or sacred, but what is useful. Decision-making processes, and democracy, have shifted from politics to economics, and from this to the technique.
For all this, we are left with the doubt if we are all incompetent with respect to the future, and the complexity of the information required by the technological digestion. The risk in such a scenario is really to decide only on the basis of rhetorical factors? As a man and as a curator I feel the need for an inner rest as much as for an exterior dialogue. So I thought of an installation for 2014 that will carry the same title but with a question mark at the end ‘Viaggio in Italia ?’ (‘Journey to Italy?’). So as to relate to the past and to investigate the future. Adopting a shared method again, I invited a group of esteemed Italian photographers, artists and friends to bring their own thinking on photography and landscape.
Conscious that the way to ask a question often determines the response, I asked them to put aside the camera and to trace this thought freehand, standing still some way. A gesture more antiquated than the click of a machine, but perhaps less inscribed in a scientific gaze. Provocatively I then asked everyone to send me a postcard without thinking too much, pulling it out from that confused imaginary which is the Italian landscape.»
By Steve Bisson