Luigi Ghirri, Caserta, 1987 / Courtesy of Luigi Ghirri's heirs
Luigi Ghirri: A Foot in Eden and Other Looks
Apr 28, 2023 – Feb 25, 2024
Palazzo dei Musei
Reggio Emilia, Italy

The exhibition offers a broad reflection on the natural element by bringing together three experiences that take place around the same time and in which photography, drawing and graphics act as privileged devices in relocating nature within our perceptive horizon in which often occupies a secondary, background role.

In the central corridor, dedicated to the work of Luigi Ghirri, images taken mainly in parks and gardens between 1984 and 1988 are presented, places where, according to the author, it is possible to relive and experience a feeling of belonging with nature. Places to which he turns after having recounted, in previous years, the profound transformation of the first natural and agricultural areas, effectively marking a radical change in the way they are perceived.

The second part, on the other hand, rearranges a selection of photographs from Giardini in Europa, a collective exhibition created in 1988 with the curatorship of Luigi Ghirri and Giulio Bizzarri, which presents the results of research conducted in green areas in Italy and abroad by international artists Andrea Abati, Olivo Barbieri, Giovanni Chiaramonte, Joan Fontcuberta, Mimmo Jodice, Gianni Leone, Francesco Radino, Olivier Richon, George Tatge, Ernesto Tuliozi, Fulvio Ventura, Verena Von Gagern and Cuchi White.

The Architecture of Trees by Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi, a monumental work published in 1982 for the study and understanding of the structure of trees, recounts, in the third part of the exhibition, the enormous effort put in place by the two architects to recognize the characteristics of each essence and for the correct insertion of trees in the projects of gardens and natural areas.

All these researches, which appear to be autonomous and complete, bear witness to a renewed interest, starting from the end of the 1970s, in green areas, in which the garden reappears in its ideological and ecological but also mnemonic, historical and cultural depth, as an expression of a new form of sensitivity towards nature and the past which today can be defined as “Green Heritage”.

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