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Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place

Interdisciplinary Perspectives


Edited By Marina Spunta and Jacopo Benci

The photographer Luigi Ghirri (1943–1992) was one of the most significant Italian artists of the late twentieth century. This volume – the first scholarly book-length publication on Ghirri to appear in English – introduces his photographic and critical work to a broader audience and positions Ghirri as a key voice within global artistic debates. It breaks new ground by approaching Ghirri’s œuvre from a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives, in order to take account of the breadth of his interests, the variety of his projects and the far-reaching impact of his work as a practitioner, writer, theorist and curator, both in the field of photography and beyond. Drawing on different approaches from disciplines including art history, theory of photography, literary and cultural studies, architecture, cartography, and place and landscape studies, the essays in the volume show how Ghirri redefined contemporary photography and helped shape the «spatial» or «landscape» turn in Italy and further afield.


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First and foremost we wish to thank the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust for supporting the research project Viewing and Writing Italian Landscape. Luigi Ghirri and His Legacy in Photography and Literature (2013–15), of which this volume is an outcome. We would like to thank the University of Leicester, the British School at Rome and the Society for Italian Studies for their support, and, for offering their patronage, the Italian Cultural Institute in London, the British–Italian Society, the MAXXI in Rome, the Panizzi Library in Reggio Emilia, the Comune di Reggio Emilia and the Regione Emilia Romagna. Our sincere thanks to the Eredi di Luigi Ghirri, Ilaria and Adele Ghirri, and to Maria Fontana, keeper of the Ghirri photographic archive in Roncocesi, for encouraging the research project that led to this volume, attending its conferences in Rome and in Leicester, and for granting permission for the reproduction of Luigi Ghirri’s photographs. A special thanks to Laura Gasparini, director of the Ghirri photographic archive in the Panizzi Library in Reggio Emilia for her support over the past few years. We are grateful to all the scholars, photographers and artists who enthusiastically welcomed our research project and who contributed to it in various ways, by delivering papers, attending our conferences, writing for the project blog or by agreeing to show their photographic work in the virtual exhibition that accompanied the conference in Leicester, currently hosted on the project blog. Our sincere thanks go to a number of people who...

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