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Ducal Palace of Guastalla : Luigi Ghirri : I sassi di Pollicino / The stones of Tom Thumb


In a very evocative place where the lighting of the works is particularly neat, are exhibited 80 photographs of the Po valley taken and edited by Luigi Ghirri himself at the Ducal Palace of Guastalla in Italy.

For the author, it is the moment of transition from a form of expression close to “conceptual” art to more personal poetics that puts perception before rationality.
These are photos that construct a map of what he himself defines as “a sentimental geography”.
Meanwhile, the triumph of globalization begins in the world.

Ghirri always manages to find himself in the middle, between the idea of ​​PLACE (that unique and unrepeatable part of space which belongs to our personal experience) and that of SPACE (the rest of the world in its enlarged structure, tending towards the infinite, which swallows us up and imposes itself on us in spite of ourselves).

The place as a mirror of an interiority in which memory defends us from the risk of losing ourselves; space as something other than itself, the entity of the world that escapes us but with which we are forced to constantly confront ourselves.

Ghirri reveals to us the invasion of globalization, but asks us to learn to SEE WITHOUT JUDGING ; it shows us the world we see every day as if it were both new and old. His photos represent a “NOW” which contains an “ALWAYS”, therefore the possibility of a future.

“…I entrust to scattered fragments, intuitions, small changes of light, to the evidence of a color, to a detail of a facade, to a sound or to a smell captured, the task of transforming into small certainties, a set of points joining them to trace a possible route, as if they were Tom Thumb’s stones, to find a way. In the end, the places, objects, things or faces encountered in these landscapes are simply waiting for someone to look at them, recognize them, and not despise them by relegating them to the shelves of the endless “supermarket outside.”
L’obiettivo nella visione – Paesaggi dispersi
In: Lotus International n. 52 – 1987


Curator: Gloria Negri in collaboration with the Archives of the Ghirri heirs and Franco Farinelli.

80 photographs of the Po valley, 22 of which are unpublished,
24 vintage prints (before 1992, printed by Arrigo Ghi under the direction of Ghirri) and 56 modern (printed after 1992 again by the laboratory of Arrigo Ghi under the direction of Paola Ghirri and Archivio Eredi Ghirri)


Luigi Ghirri: I sassi di Pollicino
June 3 – November 30, 2023
Ducal Palace of Guastalla (RE)
Via S. Gonzaga, 16
42016 Guastalla RE, Italy

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