‘Dritto negli occhi’ is a video project for the promotion of contemporary Italian photography abroad , promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and conceived and produced by Alessandra Mauro, editorial director of Contrasto Books.
5 short documentaries (in Italian with English subtitles), 6 conversations with leading figures in contemporary Italian photography, who are excellent witnesses, through the generations, of the history of our country, its aesthetic and social transformations, its open questions. They provide a direct insight into the artistic experience and style choices of as many creators of photography and visual research in general.
Piergiorgio Branzi‘s creations, with photography rooted in the tradition of Florentine design; Massimo Siragusa‘s observations on a changing Italian landscape; Gea Casolaro’s research into the gaze and the pitfalls of a sometimes stereotyped view; Simona Ghizzoni‘s investigations into the places, atmospheres and objects of the female universe; Michele Palazzi‘s photographic reportage with new personal and evocative triggers; Anna Di Prospero‘s investigation into identity: from the voices of the protagonists, we hear what it means to move in the world and look it straight in the eye today.
‘Dritto negli occhi’ will be available here, on the italiana portal, and will be presented as part of the 17th Giornata del Contemporaneo (Contemporary Art Day – scheduled from 6 to 11 December 2021), the annual event promoted by AMACI, the Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums, dedicated to highlighting the network of individuals and organisations that promote contemporary art in Italy and abroad, and which this year, too, is supported by the Farnesina.
Piergiorgio Branzi, born in Signa in 1928 and raised in Florence, began taking pictures in the 1950s. His reconnaissance of Italy gives rise to a series of images of our country that, while on the one hand record the reality still immersed in the post-war period, on the other interpret it with lyricism and poetic attention. Towards the end of the 1950s, he slowed down his photographic work and joined RAI as a journalist. He became a correspondent in Moscow and then in Paris, and over time made reports and documentaries in Europe, Asia and Africa. He took up photography again in the mid-1990s and has been experimenting with the possibilities of digital technology since 2007. Numerous solo exhibitions of his images have been hosted in private galleries, museums and public institutions.
Gea Casolaro, a visual artist, has been working and exhibiting since 1994. Through a non-conformist gaze, she seeks new possible interpretations of the image in order to bring out the aspects of reality that habit or commonplace tend to erase, hide or forget. Her works are in many public collections in Italy and Europe including MAXXI in Rome, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Trento and Rovereto and the Centre National de l’Audiovisuel in Luxembourg.
Anna di Prospero was born in Rome in 1987. She studied photography at the European Institute of Design in Rome and at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her photographic research is marked by the introspective approach with which she explores everyday life and the relationship with space. Her work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her awards include Sony World Photography Award and Discovery of the Year in the 2011 Lucie Awards.
Simona Ghizzoni is a visual artist and women’s rights activist. Her work often stems from personal needs to work out inner processes that she interprets through photography and video. She has received many awards, including the Leica Oskar Barnack Award and the Sony World Photography Award. Ghizzoni has spoken several times at TEDx, holds seminars and workshops in various schools and universities in Italy and abroad and is co-founder of MAPS Images.