Photography, like other art forms, reflects the political and cultural changes in society. On this occasion, we turn our attention to the Italian landscape, to study and analyze transformations and changes within our country. The landscape therefore becomes a metaphor for social, artistic and cultural change in Italy from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.
The exhibition “Italy is a desire” presents a selection of images from the archives and collections of the Alinari Foundation for Photography and Mufoco – Museum of Contemporary Photography from the dawn of landscape photography at the contemporary. Thanks to a chronological succession of techniques, languages and visions, the exhibition allows you to retrace the evolution of the ways of representing the Bel Paese.
The exhibition in Scuderie del Quirinale shows over 600 original works, characterized by a great wealth of techniques, materials, formats and methods. The exhibition itinerary begins with the photographs from the Alinari Archives and continues with the works from the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography. The exhibition is enriched by a series of moments of unexpected dialogue between the two collections.
The path inside the exhibition is a real journey in Italy: from the almost pictorial photographic views of the Alinari brothers to the “natural shots” from the north to the south of Italy by Luigi Ghirri, from the portraits of the Milanese factories by Gabriele Basilico to the first backlit negatives, up to the latest research where photography is increasingly open to other media. At the end of the exhibition, a broad idea of landscape remains, which introduces immaterial and abstract dimensions – psychological, poetic, political – which leave room for the interpretation of the public. The project does not want 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.
The Alinari Foundation for Photography was created in 2020 by the Tuscany Region to preserve and enhance the Alinari Archives, founded by the Alinari brothers in 1852, which today represent one of the largest Italian deposits of photographic documentation. The assets of the collection reach around 5,000,000 pieces, collected in archives and collections of great importance for the history of photography. The heritage also includes documents, a specialized library, historical atelier equipment and equipment. The Foundation undertakes to make the archive usable and accessible through the online site, research, restoration, cataloging and digitization, exhibitions and public initiatives.
The Mufoco – Museum of Contemporary Photography was founded in 2004 in Cinisello Balsamo-Milan and preserves a photographic heritage of 2 million images from the Second World War to the present day, organized into 42 photographic archives ranging by themes from portrait, to landscape, to reportage, to artistic research photography, documenting the presence of over 1000 Italian and international authors. The Museum is committed to enriching the collections and promoting contemporary photographic culture on a national and international scale, through public commissions, calls, prizes and competitions, artist residencies and participatory projects.