The photographic exhibition created with innovative technology by the photojournalist Massimo Sestini presents the places of Dante Alighieri along the route from his home town of Florence to Ravenna, where his remains are preserved, passing the River Arno on Monte Falterona, but also travelling through Venice, Rome, Verona and Poppi, in a veritable reportage of past and present. The photographic exhibition, organized by the Associazione MUS.E, promoted by the Municipal Authority of Florence and the city’s Civic Museums, also benefited from the guidance of Sergio Risaliti, director of the Novecento Museum in Florence, and Domenico De Martino, director of the Festival Dante 2021 in Ravenna. In 2021, the exhibition will travel to Brussels, Paris (at the UNESCO headquarters), Madrid and Berlin.
A photographic story in 20 images, created by Massimo Sestini, an internationally famous photojournalist, renowned for his unusual perspective of reality, captured using experimental photographic techniques. From Florence, Dante’s birthplace, to Ravenna, where his remains are preserved, passing the source of the river Arno on Monte Falterona. But also Venice, Rome, Verona and Poppi, to discover – in the true spirit of reportage – how much the poet’s face continues to accompany our lives.
Sestini’s forward-looking perspective avoids the postcard effect also through the use of innovative instruments. With a super-lightweight camera on a telescopic pole, Sestini transports visitors literally to the height of Dante’s statue in Florence’s Piazza Santa Croce, empty due to Covid-19. He used instead a drone to photograph the artist Enrico Mazzone at work on the 97-metre-long work, Divine Comedy, inside the Indoor Market in Ravenna. With mask, flippers and a snorkel, the photojournalist dodged the vaporetti (Venetian waterbuses) in the Venice Lagoon to capture “La barca di Dante” (Dante’s Boat), a bronze work by the Georgian sculptor Georgy Frangulyan. There are another two photos in the exhibition that offer visitors a truly innovative perspective.
First, an incredible image of the Last Judgement by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari, which decorates the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. The photo offers – for the first time – a view of the fresco from above, was taken using a remote-controlled camera lowered using fishing line from the top of the cathedral’s lantern, 85 metres above ground. The second is a highly symbolic image of the city of Florence, which – shot from above – becomes a planet: Sestini created this image using a spherical imaging camera tied to an eight-metre-long pole and held from a helicopter. There are also a number of images from the news, including high school students studying Dante’s tercets and creative works of street art that celebrate the great literary genius.
Massimo Sestini (Prato, 1963) is a leading international photojournalist. Since the mid-1980s, Sestini has covered major current events, with his photographs appearing on the front pages of the world’s biggest newspapers. Always up-to-date with the very latest technology, Sestini understood immediately the opportunities afforded by digital and uses increasingly powerful lenses to achieve shots that earned him a World Press Photo award in 2015.