NEW VEDUTE AND QUALSIASITÁ – From Italian masters of photography to Italian scenario

Tuesday 16 May 2017
7:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Italian Cultural Institute
39 Belgrave Square


From Italian masters of photography to Italian scenario

The Italian Cultural Institute

39 Belgrave Square SW1X 8NX

16 May 2017 at 7pm

Following the great experience of last year, the Italian Cultural Institute (ICI) is delighted to renew the collaboration with Photo London (18 – 21 May 2017) presenting two new exhibitions related to Italy.

The shows are part of the Photo London’s public programme and will open at the ICI on Tuesday 16 May 2017, two days before the beginning of the main fair at Somerset House.

The first one, “New Vedute”, is a personal work by British photographer Simon Roberts, curated by Marco Delogu and Flavio Scollo and developed in Italy within the “Rome Commission”, a project by Fotografia – International Festival in Rome. While the second one, “Qualsiasità”, is a collective project curated by Alessandro Dandini de Sylva, with works by Guido Guidi, Cesare Fabbri, Francesco Neri and other relevant Italian photographers.

New Vedute – Alternative Postcards from Rome: Simon Roberts

In a nutshell, we might call Simon Roberts a landscape photographer. As is often the case, however, this comes nowhere near to describing his photography. His landscapes are almost always connected to the social fabric of their inhabitants and it is in this relationship that Roberts works his small, alchemical magic.

The series New Vedute may appear quite unlike the rest of his work, yet we find many of his typical elements. Roberts superimposes his own contemporary snapshots over postcards, idealised images from disparate places and times yet all depicting the city of Rome. The meaning of each image is influenced by the original caption written on the back of the postcard, which becomes the title. The result might often appear disorientating and the end goals are quite diverse.

The overall image that emerges is the typical experience that a hypothetical tourist would encounter when visiting one of the most touristic cities in the world. A city that, with its ancient ruins and many historical monuments, is very much a picture-postcard city yet also an urbanised space. This is the precise dual identity that Roberts investigates by combining contemporary images with postcards, drawing out the internal tensions and exploring the competing images.

Through the postcard manipulation process, Roberts not only rearranges and interrogates the importance of cultural emblems and the concept of the landscape, but singles out the very nature of the postcards. They are presented here as ordinary objects that undergo an extraordinary process, only to be then repositioned in an extraordinary frame where they have to imitate a familiar domestic dimension.

Qualsiasità: Cesare Ballardini, Cesare Fabbri, Jonathan Frantini, Marcello Galvani, Guido Guidi, Francesco Neri and Luca Nostri

Qualsiasità features over 80 works by the Italian master of photography Guido Guidi and the artists who attended his lessons in Ravenna and Venice at various times and frequented his home and studio in Cesena, including Cesare Ballardini, Cesare Fabbri, Jonathan Frantini, Marcello Galvani, Francesco Neri and Luca Nostri.

The projects developed over the years, independently or commissioned, have given rise to an in-depth exploration of the landscapes of a circumscribed geographical area extending from Cesena and Ravenna to Bologna, and taking in Faenza, Lugo and Massa Lombarda, the birthplaces and homes of the photographers.

The documentary style of the photographs on display allows them to offer an accurate and anti-rhetorical description of places considered marginal by the official iconography. It is an Italian geography that, just a few years later, is already of inestimable historical value due to the rapidly changing landscape.

The aim of the exhibition is to re-establish a link between photographic practices and genres, which critics and historiographers have long kept separate – such as “documentary” and “research” photography – thus offering an opportunity to continue to examine the conceptual and figurative dimensions of the Italian territory.


Pino Musi: Acre

Curated by Marco Delogu

Starting from the project “Settlements” by London based photographer David Spero (which has just been released as a book) and from his picture of the milking machine in Maremma, Italy, Marco Delogu curates a show based on the work by Italian photographer Pino Musi, ACRE.

At its first time in the UK, ACRE opens on the occasion of Photo London at the Italian Cultural Institute Tuesday 16 May 2017 and continues until Sunday 18 June 2017.

The exhibition is an investigation about the agricultural landscape in the recent days, an ideal journey through European contemporary backcountry, that part of the land that is far from the conventional tourist image. From centre-Italy backcountry to Brittany, the idea of the exhibiton ideally traces a journey through the story of the permutation of the countryside, a scenario of failed recovery, exploitation, and massive urban development.