What remains of a photograph after we close our eyes? If it is an icon, probably, everything. Or rather: if the image is not limited to itself, but narrates a world, then that world will come to life, right in the face of the negation of its static and defined version. It will breathe in the darkness of our mind, even going so far as to evoke smells and—why not—sounds.
Luigi Ghirri’s photographs go even further: they recall the nostalgia of distant memories we all have, albeit in different and varied forms. More than images, they become symbols, indissolubly linked to the emotional load that makes them unique. In a way, we could speak of archetypes. And if our lido was not that of the Riviera Romagnola, we will still remember the first time we collected seashells on the shoreline. Or of all the times we ran away from our mother, chasing us with a tube of sunscreen. Or still, hiding behind an ice cream while discovering what it meant to fall in love, without yet being able to put a name to that pesky obsession.
Luigi Ghirri continues, thirty years after his death, to be all of this. We, thirty years on, continue not to learn how to protect ourselves—both from sunburn and from love. Maybe that why the sound of those images will continue to resonate within us like the soundtrack of our favourite movie (the freedom to dare, the temptation to be children again).
Luigi Ghirri chased that sound all his life. He knew that an image is not only made of film and light. Music guided him throughout his artistic career, leading him to collaborate with CCCP, Dalla, Carboni, Morandi and many others. Together, they shaped a past we all belong to somehow.
Giulia Cavaliere and Dente (Giuseppe Peveri) went to look for those pieces of life directly in the archives of his home. They found books, records, a weird ET puppet, and an unconditional love for culture in all its forms. They talked to his daughter, Adele (curator of the photographic archive) who guided them through her father’s record collection. From this journey through time, tonight’s event at Santeria Toscana 31 came to life.
Luigi Ghirri ad Occhi Chiusi (“Luigi Ghirri with Eyes Closed”) is held by Giulia Cavaliere and Dente. After exploring Ghirri’s personal records collection, they will discuss the relationship between the photographer and the many artists he worked with, also proposing a selection from his favourite music (click here and listen to the playlist).
But that’s not all. On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of Luigi Ghirri’s death, the Eredi Ghirri and BDC – Bonanni Del Rio Catalog are remembering the photographer with a set of limited edition postcards featuring some of the subjects of his photographic research, united by the topic of summer. The initiative, titled Saluti dall’estate italiana (“Greetings from Italian summer”), focuses on some places of the Italian dolce vivere: bars and places of the Milanese tradition. The centre is Milan as the ideal city for the rebirth of post-pandemic places: open-air dehors, live music and late-night parties. When the hot weather arrives, so does the desire to leave the crowded meeting places and escape from the city for the weekend.
Eight photographs, mostly unpublished, have been selected from the Ghirri archive. They are eight subjects, shot between Capri, Riviera Romagnola and Puglia, from 1980 to 1986. Each place will have its photograph in postcard format available while stocks last. A digital map shows all the places where you can retrieve a limited edition postcard. As in a “treasure hunt”, whoever passes by all the places will be able to collect all the postcards printed on the occasion of the initiative.