Paesaggi di Cartone – Luigi Ghirri


Il Diaframma, 1974
Softcover, 23 x 24 cm
20 pages, color photographs
Italian text

Perfect overall conditions

In stock

One of the earliest collections by the Emilian photographer par excellence, Paesaggi di Cartone (Cardboard Landscapes) is about posters, signs, objects and portraits enclosed in shop windows, fragments casually encountered on the street.

Ghirri masterfully captures the upheaval of values that will accompany the coming into vogue of the new western model and in which the territory will become the litmus test of the social change taking place. It is from these early works that the ‘Ghirrian landscape’ was born as a metaphor for social revolution.

The billboards are no longer mere reproductions of a reality that does not exist and dazzles us, but here they become an integral part of the landscape, they come alive again and, as a result, their message undergoes a very important and ironic reversal. Ghirri removes the context in which the advertising image is placed, giving it a new one, to his liking; he thus allows us to decode the message in a different sense, sometimes even opposite to the advertiser’s expectations. Thus, the image of a can of Sprite against the backdrop of an imposing waterfall, when photographed next to a real alpine snowfield, loses the desired connotation of naturalness and freshness, proving artificial and fictitious.

Ghirri’s work is forward-looking and intelligent, and its apparent simplicity makes it exceedingly powerful and effective.
The obvious reference to Surrealism does not aim here to reproduce the life of the unconscious, nor to create symbolic games with the simple juxtaposition of objects, but rather to identify a new, objective and resounding reality.

Ghirri’s photographic research still remains revolutionary today, as revealed by the choice of a publisher such as MACK to reprint Paesaggi di Cartone in 2020, precisely because it is closely related to the debate on society and culture in a position of extremely active critical intervention and, as such, tenaciously topical.

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