Luigi Ghirri – Photographs 1969–1992
During his short life, Luigi Ghirri (1943–1992) had a determining influence and impact on Italian photography. His photographs portray the Italian landscape with an honest, everyday truthfulness that is devoid of idealistic romanticism. Apart from his commissioned work, his oeuvre is divided into two different areas: on the one hand, the Emilian photographer´s contact with the Modena art scene made him something of a conceptionalist who saw and captured simple everyday objects – garage doors, shop windows, advertisement boards, people waiting, lovers, a pair of shoes, two hats – in a new and surprising light that grasps and explores the essence of seeing in multiple tiny structures; on the other, his interiors, photographs of gardens and the fusion of architecture and landscape reveal him as a searcher for essentials, for an ontology of the landscape. He reflected on the change of meaning “when the world of symbols penetrates the physical world, at the same time referring to a third version far beyond”. To the photographer and thinker Luigi Ghirri, photography was more than a mere “chronometer of seeing”. It was a means of expression that “provides scope for an endless multitude of imaginary worlds”. He left a rich visual inheritance that is shown here for the first time in such a comprehensive form.
The exhibition was curated by Urs Stahel. A cooperation with the Palazzo Magnani and the Biblioteca Panizzi, Reggio Emilia, the Patrimoine photographique, Paris, and the Museu nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona.