24 Feb 2005


Opening: 24 February 2005 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. on the occasion of the fashion shows White, Neozone, Cloudnine Milano, 24-27 February 2005

In the past few years, fashion photography has become the guiding medium of contemporary visual culture. Its status has evolved from a support for fashion into a maker of icons and ideas. Fashion photography has a determining influence in all fields of communication and it is considered a form of art in every sense. The power of fashion photography is to record images and more often, it deeply influences the “here and now”.

The project entitled Lo Sguardo Italiano – the Italian look – was conceived not only to bring the Italian artists who brought the history of fashion photography into the limelight, but also to display the Italian style beyond fashion; showcasing a collection of images that illustrates the evolution of fashion influenced by social changes that span from the end of World War II until today. Through photographs, fashion reports in Italian and foreign magazines and advertising campaigns Lo Sguardo Italiano presents a significant selection of Italian photography and its authors.

Lo Sguardo Italiano is not a dictionary of Italian fashion photography. The photographers featured in the book and the exhibit are indeed an important part, but they are not the sole protagonists as many other photographers have produced beautiful and meaningful images. This project is meant to be a starting point; an analysis – even critical – about an aspect of photography which in Italy has never moved outside the boundaries of fashion. The Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery has every intention of pursuing research in this direction.

Lo Sguardo Italiano is neither a chronology nor a catalogue; it sorts the images by theme, with a narrative thread that is very useful for understanding the Italian genius loci and it covers a segment of time from the official “birth” of Italian fashion (1951) to the present.

Lo Sguardo Italiano is an exhibit/installation and a book that for the first time gives some of the most interesting protagonists of Italian fashion photography the appropriate attention. Because of the project’s institutional value, the Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery is flanked by the DARC (Direzione Generale per l’Architettura e l’Arte Contemporanee – the directorate for contemporary architecture and art of the Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities) and the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, organizations whose missions is to promote and protect the works of Italian artists. Thanks to this important collaboration the book will also be presented in Rome on 16 March 2005, at the MAXXI (Museo delle Arti del XXI secolo – the Museum of XXI Century Arts) on the occasion of the opening of the exhibit dedicated to Gilbert and George.

The book: the exhibit catalogue is a sequence of pictures that recount the evolution of Italian fashion photography through the works of a select group of authors. In addition to the pictures, the book features a series of essays from different viewpoints that provide historical and critical tools for an in-depth review of a story that is still to being told. Biographies of the photographers, which cover their careers as well as their lives, complete the volume.

The exhibit/installation: the interior of the cross shaped building in the center of the Rotonda di via Besana will be reshaped to create a new space for the exhibition.  This new structure will embody an archive that will contain the photographs from the book. The  images – the fruit of a research in different cities and places – are arranged in drawers, racks, shelves and videos by theme, date, size and author. Visitors can interact with each part and will be able to work their own way through the exhibit. This will be the first attempt to create an organized archive of the Italian fashion photography.

The authors of the essays: Carlo Antonelli, Francesco Bonami, Maria Francesca Bonetti, Mariuccia Casadio, Caroline Corbetta, Cesare Cunaccia, Emanuela De Cecco, Giusi Ferré, Maria Luisa Frisa, Sofia Gnoli, Paolo Landi, Mario Lupano, Antonio Mancinelli, Claudio Marra, Anna Mattirolo, Elena Moretti, Giampiero Mughini, Nini Mulas, Federica Muzzarelli, Anna Piaggi, Cloe Piccoli, Maddalena Renzi, Ferdinando Scianna, James Sherwood, Mauro Tinti, Toni Thorimbert, Stefano Tonchi.

The photographers: Maria Vittoria Corradi Backhaus, Vanessa Beecroft, Manfredi Bellati, Flavio Bonetti, Fiorenzo Borghi, Vanni Burkhart, Sergio Caminata, Silvia Camporesi, Antonio Capa, Max Cardelli, Alfa Castaldi, Elisabetta Catalano, Loris Cecchini, Davide Cernuschi, Antonio Cesano, Gianmarco Chieregato, Manlio Conte, Diego D’Alessandro, Mario De Biasi, Pasquale De Antonis, Gianni Della Valle, Martina Della Valle, Alberto Dell’Orto, G.M.Fadigati, Aldo Fallai, Pierpaolo Ferrari, Fabrizio Ferri, Diego Fuga, Stefano Galuzzi, Andrea Gandini, Giovanni Gastel, Piero Gemelli, Fabrizio Gianni, Marco Glaviano, Renato Grignaschi, Elsa Haertter, Bob Krieger, Marco La Conte, Leombruno-Bodi, Armin Linke, Giovanni Lunardi, Elio Luxardo, Tiziano Magni, Rennio Maifredi, Toni Meneguzzo, Stefano Moro, Ugo Mulas, Occhiomagico, Carlo Orsi, Stefania Paparelli, Manuela Pavesi, Publifoto, Roberto Quagli, Regina Relang, Alberto Rizzo, Willy Rizzo, Elsa Robiola, Paolo Roversi, Franco Rubartelli, Mario Santana, Laura Sciacovelli, Ferdinando Scianna, Fortunato Scrimali, Tazio Secchiaroli, Elisabetta Senesi, Mario Sorrenti, Andrea Spotorno, Lina Tenca, Toni Thorimbert, Alberta Tiburzi, Riccardo Tinelli, Oliviero Toscani, Paolo Ventura, Francesco Vezzoli

_with the contribution of Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana, Pitti Immagine
_under the patronage of Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e del Costume di Palazzo Pitti
_with the participation of Sole 24 Ore