Esplorazioni dell’archivio. Fotografie della Via Emilia

CSAC – Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione
Università degli Studi di Parma

in collaborazione con Fotografia Europea

logo FE 2016


Fotografie della Via Emilia
7 maggio – 2 ottobre 2016

Abbazia di Valserena

From May 7th to October 2nd in the evocative setting of the Abbey of Valserena, a few kilometers away from the city of Parma, the CSAC – Study Centre and Communication Archive of the University of Parma present the exhibition Esplorazioni dell’archivio. Fotografie della Via Emilia. The exhibition, curated by Paolo Barbaro and Claudia Cavatorta, is embedded within the 2016 edition of the Fotografia Europea festival, titled The Via Emilia. Roads, travel, borders, held in Reggio Emilia from May 6th to July10th.

Esplorazioni dell’archivio. Fotografie della Via Emilia starts from an investigation into the extraordinary archive of 9 million of photographic images, preserved inside the CSAC. It is ideally connected to the Esplorazioni sulla Via Emilia project, that exactly thirty years ago, in 1986, involved Luigi Ghirri, Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico, Vincenzo Castella, Giovanni Chiaramonte, Nino Criscenti, Vittore Fossati, Omar Galliani, Guido Guidi, Mimmo Jodice, Klaus Kinold, Claude Nori, Cuchi White, Manfred Willmann: it was an articulated and multidisciplinary description that, through literary and scientific contributions, created an important reference for the subsequent reflections on landscape.

The CSAC has played an important role in the development of the Esplorazioni sulla Via Emilia narrative model, and before that – in 1984 – to the realization of the Viaggio in Italia project coordinated by Luigi Ghirri, who was then a member of the Executive Committee of the CSAC Photography Department, contributing in the first half of the seventies to collect historic photographs for this collection. Ghirri was also teacher of History of Photography in Parma, as well as Giovanni Chiaramonte and Mario Cresci, invited by Arturo Carlo Quintavalle. Gabriele Basilico, Olivo Barbieri, Mimmo Jodice, Guido Guidi, Vincenzo Castella, Cuchi White also had an intense relationship with the University of Parma, with several exhibitions organizated by the CSAC.

These authors, among those that have mostly characterized and influenced the photography of the last quarter of the century, will be featured in the show through a series of small monographic exhibitions.

In dialogue and in contrast to these monographs, the CSAC will show a group of nineteenth century photographs by Alinari, Brogi and Poppi studies, documenting the post-unification Emilian countryside, in which national identity is built through iconography of architecture and monuments isolated from the context. The presence of this group of photos is fundamental for the understanding of the conceptual research that authors such as Luigi Ghirri, Mimmo Jodice, Mario Cresci, Guido Guidi, Olivo Barbieri developed during the mid-Eighties of last century, at a time when it appeared urgent to make visible the ordinary and the anti-monumental, even in opposition to the classical tradition of nineteenth-century canonical view. It is not a coincidence that the acquisition by the CSAC of many of these photographs have been suggested by some of these authors between the Seventies and eighties.

A second group of twentieth-century photographs, also taken from the CSAC, includes photographs of the Atelier Vasari in Rome, realized for ANAS between 1946 and 1948 to document the reconstruction of the Emilia roads, and the journey narrations taken by Bruno Stefani to illustrate the volumes of the Italian Touring Club between 1935 and 1960. There are also the Bruno Vaghi’s shots playing between aerial photography and commercial image, the large format by Atelier Villani to portray the domestic industry, from the Agriculture Show in 1935 to the reconstruction by agencies of education and assistance. Sports photography by Publifoto finally shows a different use of spaces and landscapes of the Via Emilia.

During the period of the the exhibition the spaces of the Abbey will also host a series of conferences on the theme of the exhibition, helded by writers, photographers, archivists, scientists, geographers and linguists. The first conference will be Saturday, May 21st with a lecture by Giovanni Chiaramonte, one of the protagonists of the Esplorazioni sulla Via Emilia and which has always been linked to the events of the CSAC.

CSAC – Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione
Abbazia di Valserena
Strada Viazza di Paradigna, 1
Open Monday-Friday 10am – 15pm; Saturday-Sunday 10am – 20pm.
Reduced tickets if you present the Fotografia Europea entrance ticket.

Guided tours for the exhibitions:
Sunday may 8, 22 , june 5, 19, 17.30pm
€ 12; or € 10 with the Fotografia Europea entrance ticket.

info and reservations:
+39 0521 607791