Curated by: Giovanna Calvenzi, Filippo Maggia
100 photographs and 6 unpublished images of Trieste. From 11 June to 5 September, the Magazzino delle Idee in Trieste hosts the works of a master of contemporary photography, one of the best known and most appreciated interpreters of the urban landscape.
The exhibition in the cities, curated by Giovanna Calvenzi and Filippo Maggia, organized by the regional body for cultural heritage, in collaboration with the Gabriele Basilico and Skira Editore Archives, focuses on the fundamental theme in the photographer's production. For forty years, from the seventies until his death in 2013, Gabriele Basilico observed the world built by man and nevertheless portrayed it as if it were an entity independent of the human presence. Often the glimpses immortalized by the photographer appear deserted, but even when they are populated with human figures we have the impression that it is men who have been generated by the city, rather than the other way around.
Among the large-format photographs presented at the Warehouse of Ideas we find images of Milan, Rome, Moscow, Shanghai, Istanbul, London, Boston and Beirut and many other cities. There are central and peripheral neighborhoods, new and crumbling architecture, urban splendor and squalor.
Basilico is not interested in documenting beauty, but the city as a living organism, on whose skin the history and stories of the men who live there remain imprinted.
The research on bombed Beirut, undertaken in 1991 with a series of famous black and white images and continued in 2011 with color photographs documenting the reconstruction process, represents an emblematic chapter of this exhibition and one of the most incisive evidence of the ability of photography. to tell the human events and dramas reflected in the evolution of the city.
If Beirut is a striking example of the process of urban destruction and regeneration, the observation of the city as a living organism that grows and changes by changing its character is already found in one of the first series signed by Basilico, created between 1978 and 1980 and dedicated to the factories of Milan. The forty images that make up Milan. Portraits of factories, were created as documentation of industrial glimpses of the capital and in the short space of time they became evidence of scroci and architectures belonging to an urban fabric in the process of disappearing. Looking at those photographs after forty years, we can see how it was the photographer's ability to confer historical and architectural dignity to places otherwise likely destined to perish in anonymity.