Luigi Ghirri – Il profilo delle nuvole. Immagini di un paesaggio italiano

1996 / Reprint of the 1st edition 1989
Feltrinelli
25 x 28 cm, 129 pages
Italian
ISBN 88-07-42057-0

But the history of photography is a body separate from existence, it is a low-level “intellectual” history, it is the history of the misery of the gaze.

Italian photography has no photographic tradition from which to start: the image of Italy, its iconography is pictorial, it’s the idea of a place that contains art; this is a consolidated iconography, difficult to modify. The American situation, for example, is different. Its image is essentially photographic and cinematographic, we have no “historical memory” as regards the photographic image. So we photographers have entered into a relationship with the “place” in which Italians live neither in an apologetic way nor in a critical way. We have rather looked for dialectical knots, different paths and stratifications, to start a process of knowledge, we have not taken anything for granted.

During the 1980s Ghirri began to photograph Italian landscapes and was singled out as one of the most significant Italian authors in the history of 20th century photography. His conceptual photographs, coupled with a remarkable literary output, led him to produce several noteworthy photographic projects. In 1984 Ghirri curated Viaggio in Italia (Italian Voyage) which included the work of Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico and Mimmo Jodice among other leading Italian photographers. The exploratory exhibition offered reflections and ideas about the country and was a milestone in the history of Italian contemporary photography.
In 1989, he published Il Profilo delle Nuvole (The Profile of the Clouds) which included exclusively Ghirri’s captivating images and represents his highest achievement. 

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Negli anni ’80 Ghirri iniziò a fotografare paesaggi italiani e venne indicato come uno degli autori italiani più significativi nella storia della fotografia del XX secolo. Le sue fotografie concettuali, unite ad una notevole produzione letteraria, lo portarono a produrre diversi progetti fotografici degni di nota. Nel 1984 Ghirri ha curato Viaggio in Italia che ha incluso il lavoro di Olivo Barbieri, Gabriele Basilico e Mimmo Jodice tra gli altri principali fotografi italiani. La mostra esplorativa ha offerto riflessioni e spunti sul paese ed è stata una pietra miliare nella storia della fotografia contemporanea italiana.
Nel 1989 pubblicò Il Profilo delle Nuvole che include esclusivamente immagini accattivanti di Ghirri e rappresenta la sua più alta conquista.