Paola De Pietri

Questa pianura


It’s the plain of the Po River. It’s the landscape that I have always known, whose changes have intertwined, as both consequence and cause, with the strong economic growth of the post-war period.

In this project, two series of photographs intersect and proceed on two levels.


The first series comprises large format black and white images of trees and farmhouses now uninhabited and often in ruins. The second includes colour photographs, smaller in size, of transient situations related to atmospheric variability and the annual cycle of nature.

The trees and houses, with their distribution in space that is not random, have lost the original agricultural, economic, and social function they had up till thirty or forty years ago. I now perceive them as words remaining from a fragmentary discourse, the meaning of which it is no longer possible to grasp. The dissolution and ruin are evident, but the trees, now free from functional restraints, grow in the space according to their natural and original biological plan.


These totemic images of trees and houses are juxtaposed with smaller colour images of river banks, grasses, crops, birds, and wildflowers, where the perception of the plain is instead sensory, vital, disordered, and atmospheric, linked to the annual cycle of nature.


Paola De Pietri’s project is part of the gorup exhibition Dalla via Emilia al mondo, curated by Diane Dufour, Elio Grazioli and Walter Guadagnini.

Dalla via Emilia al mondo

The theme of Fotografia Europea 2016 opens to the world in the venue of Palazzo da Mosto with the collective exhibition Dalla via Emilia al mondo (From the via Emilia to the World).

Room after room, the work ranges from high quality photojournalism to the most creative approach introducing topical themes, from a lyrical gaze to a more engaged position. The artists tackle the dramatic aspect of borders, those which are marked and those less visible but still evident. Here, the social, political, and human themes take precedence, recounted primarily by non-Italian artists: Ziad Antar, Paola De Pietri, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev, Kent Klich, Bettina Lockemann, Maanantai Collective, Michael Najjar, Paolo Pellegrin, Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber.


Paola De Pietri was born in 1960 in Reggio Emilia, where she lives. She graduated from the University of Bologna’s Drama, Art, and Music Studies program, Faculty of Literature and Philosophy. Her images are the product of a close observation of the landscape, both the urban landscape and the organic and vegetal landscape of nature. Since her first series of photographs, she has worked on the subject of man’s relationship with the space in its temporal dynamics and in a continuous examination of the idea of transience. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows, including the Biennale di Venezia (1997), Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (2001), Forte Belvedere, Florence (2003), Villa Manin – Photomusem Winterthur (2005), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Shanghai (2006), Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo, Milan (2007), Fondazione Fotografia, Modena (2010), Le Bal, Paris (2011), MAXXI, Rome (2012), Triennale, Milan (2013), Leopold Museum, Vienna – Mart, Rovereto – Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (2014), Bozar, Brussels – Nederlandsfotomuseum, Rotterdam (2015).

In 2009 she was awarded the triennial Albert Ranger-Patzsch prize.


7 May 11 am, Palazzo Da Mosto

ASK THE ARTIST: From the via Emilia to the World

with Ziad Antar, Maanantai Collective, Paola De Pietri, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev, Kent Klich, Michael Najjar, Paolo Pellegrin, Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber.

The artists answer at questions by public.


8 May 10.30 am, Teatro Cavallerizza

LECTURE: From the via Emilia to the World

Diane Dufour, Elio Grazioli e Walter Guadagnini talks with the artists Ziad Antar, Maanantai Collective, Paola De Pietri, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev, Kent Klich, Michael Najjar, Paolo Pellegrin, Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber


Palazzo da Mosto
via Mari, 7
42121 Reggio Emilia


Opening Hours

inaugural days
May 6 › 7am-11pm
May 7 and 8 › 10am-11pm
from May 9 to July 10 Friday/Sunday
Friday › 6pm-11pm
Saturday › 10am-11pm
Sunday and holiday › 10am-8pm

Palazzo da Mosto