Red Desert Now! L’eredità di Antonioni nella fotografia italiana contemporanea – various authors


Linea di Confine, 2017
Softcover, 25 x 30 cm
138 pages, color and b/w photographs
Italian and English text

In stock

Director Michelangelo Antonioni is among the authors who have most attracted the attention of European and American photographers since the early 1960s. With 1964’s Il deserto rosso (The Red Desert), his first color film, set in the industrial area of Ravenna, Antonioni’s photography of his images created a new aesthetic of the industrial and urban landscape that would be a benchmark for international photography. The figure of Antonioni-with his interest in photography in cinema and his influence on contemporary visual culture-has been the subject of numerous initiatives, including the recent exhibition dedicated to Blow-Up. Antonioni’s Classic Film and Photography1 of 2014. A wide-ranging reflection between American photography of the first half of the 1970s and the cinema of Antonioni, as well as that of Jean-Luc Godard, was produced on the occasion of the re-release and European tour of the celebrated exhibition New Topographics2 between 2011 and 2012. For many of the photographers of the generation that worked in the 1970s and 1980s, the figure of Antonioni was an indispensable reference. More than Fellini, another great Italian director of the time who was beloved by photographers, it was Antonioni himself who assigned to photography, understood as a still frame in the narrative structure of the film, a role that it had not previously been accorded. In the visual culture of the time, never had photography assumed such a decisive role in a filmmaker’s work. In the early 1960s, in Italy (but not only, as will be seen) photography could claim a high role in a research film work aimed at interpreting the problems of the modern. However, this photography, which is often presented as a kind of informal painting, refers to a world “regulated by a myth of pure pictorial beauty,” as Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote, and makes The Red Desert a work with a marked formalism, as well as an experimental one. Many voices have been raised on this formalism, for or against, and in this catalog we give an account of this debate with interviews with photographer Guido Guidi and conceptual artist Franco Vaccari, whose testimonies trace the themes of that confrontation. If this was true for a generation of photographers who first had to conquer and defend with photography an autonomous space for research, one wonders what the legacy of this film was on the more recent generation of authors, for whom it was not a matter of conquering a cultural space for photography, but of renewing and recontextualizing it, even in light of the development of digital shooting and production technologies.

Among the authors Joachim Brohm, Luca Capuano, Marcello Galvani, William Guerrieri, Guido Guidi, Gerry Johansson, Franco Vaccari, and Francesco Neri.

Weight 1 kg
Giorni di attesa


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