On 15 October at the premises of the National Institute for Art and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tashkent, will open the exhibition “ItaliAE. Dagli Alinari ai Maestri della fotografia contemporanea”, organised by the Italian Embassy in collaboration with MAECI, Fratelli Alinari IDEA Spa and the Academy of Fine Arts in Tashkent.
The exhibition, curated by Rita Scartoni and Luca Criscenti, aims to present the kaleidoscopic image of Italy, hence the plural title ItaliAE. It does so at 360 degrees with a selection of photographs divided into three sections, Landscapes, Works, Faces. These shots, taken over the last 160 years, started from Italy’s Unification, by photographers as diverse as Gianni Berengo Gardin, Paolo Pellegrin, Gabriele Basilico, Gian Paolo Barbieri, Luigi Ghirri, Mario Giacomelli and Ferdinando Scianna, have immortalised the “Belpaese” with different techniques and styles. They highlight not only its rich historical and artistic heritage but also its avant-garde technology.
The white walls of the three rooms house new, evocative, enthralling and sometimes disturbing photographs. Through Vittorio Sella’s lens, the photo of the volcano Etna becomes the ideal setting for Dante’s Inferno, remembered this year on the 700th anniversary of his death. In experimental photos such as the surreal photos of Catania and Ferrara by Gabriele Croppi, where the influence of De Chirico can be felt, or the collage on the Vucciria market by Maurizio Galimberti in Palermo, inspired by Guttuso’s famous painting, we can find not only literary but also pictorial references. Despite their diversity, these works present scenes of everyday life where the human presence, apart from a few exceptions such as the famous portrait of Giuseppe Garibaldi, remains anonymous.
Appearing in situations of work, at first peasant, then artisan as the young luthier of Alex Majoli, and technological in the aerospace industry of Lorenzo Maccotta, the individual is often portrayed as infinitesimally small when overlooked by nature or seen from the back to allow the viewer to become part of the scene and dream. On the occasion of the opening, a video, projected in the conference room, will introduce the exhibition with a review of photos skilfully blended by Luca Criscenti with moving images of the authentic Italian landscape. As curator Rita Scartoni says, the exhibition allows us to “grasp through assonance that variegated set of enchantments, knowledge, contradictions that make Italy a special country”. The exhibition will remain open until 12 November.