1986. Explorations along the Via Emilia
curated by Laura Gasparini
Photographs of: Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico, Vincenzo Castella, Giovanni Chiaramonte, Vittore Fossati, Luigi Ghirri, Guido Guidi, Mimmo Jodice, Klaus Kinold, Claude Nori, Cuchi White, Manfred Willmann. Video by Nino Criscenti.
The original exhibition, we should recall, Explorations along the Via Emilia. Views in the Landscape, curated by Luigi Ghirri, marked a reconsideration of the questions of representing the landscape, of the language of photography and the figure of the author. After thirty years it’s evoked through historical materials: from the catalogue to the mock-ups and contact sheets, along with a selection of the works shown on that occasion.
Photographers, writers, poets, philosophers, musicians, and filmmakers involved in the multidisciplinary project Explorations along the Via Emilia, curated by Giulio Bizzarri and Nora Bronzoni, instead confronted the themes of the gradual disappearance of the landscape, the intense urbanisation, pollution and overbuilding, that lead to the loss of identity of the places themselves and of the communities that inhabit them.
It was a landmark exhibition, taking the Via Emilia as a paradigm of the new exploration, an exploration that would no longer take place through a revival of images of the places most well-known and frequently visited in the tradition of the Grand Tour, namely monuments or landscapes viewed as idyllic postcards, but rather images of everyday life and culture and of the new that was advancing.
It should also be remembered that the initiative included an anthology of texts and accounts by writers, coordinated by Gianni Celati, including Ermanno Cavazzoni, Corrado Costa, Daniele del Giudice, Antonio Faeti, Giorgio Messori, Giulia Niccolai, Beppe Sebaste, and Antonio Tabucchi, as well as poetry, represented by Tonino Guerra, painting by Daniele Benati and Omar Galliani, and a film by Nino Criscenti and the musical part by Lucio Dalla.