Friday 27 September 2019, 18:00 - 19:30
The Histories of Photography.

Luigi Ghirri

curated by Alessandra Mauro for Contrasto
Carlo Scarpa hall – € 5 – subscription to 4 events € 15 
10 individual seats free and reserved for myMAXXI cardholders writing to mymaxxi@fondazionemaxxi.it by the day before the event

Some reflections on the exhibitions that have promoted the works of Luigi Ghirri and, more generally, Italian photography from the Eighties.

If everyone has a pencil, few are the real poets, says Elliott Erwitt. If everyone can take a “beautiful” photo, few can make good photos articulated in a coherent photographic project. A substantial project must identify the real photographic works; a project is characterised by the quality of the idea, the ability to articulate it, develop it in depth, and communicate it.

In the 2019 edition of The Histories of Photography cycle, we will tackle four different ways to create, study, complete, and disseminate a photographic project examined through concrete “case histories”; we will explore the Italian photographic landscape, investigate a nation through a series of portraits including those that have the commitment of telling about an emergency such as an earthquake, or understand what it means to tell of the wars of our time visually.

Luigi Ghirri. Photography in Italy in the Eighties
with Giuliano Sergio

How to build a retrospective of a great author? How to recount a historical period? How to select images to offer a path that involves the general public and specialists? An exhibition cannot limit itself to aligning the works; it provides an aesthetic experience, arises curiosity, wonder, and desire, sometimes disappointment and boredom. It is a scenic machine in which the works are the protagonists of a project that influences the critical and historical reception of an author and indirectly its market value. The conference will offer some reflections on the exhibitions that have enhanced the work of Luigi Ghirri and, more generally, Italian photography of the Eighties.


Giuliano Sergio: taught the history of photography and video art at the University of Paris 7 and history of art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. He currently teaches art history at the Iuav University of Venice and the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. His research focuses mainly on art and photography of the Sixties and Seventies of the twentieth century, investigated through the theory of image and sociology of art, the history of publishing, exhibitions, and collecting. He has published in academic magazines such as Ricerche di Storia dell’arte, RolSA, Textuel, and Etudes photographiques and has collaborated with the MAXXI in Rome at the Ugo Mulas, the art scene exhibition as scientific director of the catalogue (Electa, 2007).