Curated by: Grasso, Walter Guadagnini
The exhibition " In the crosshairs - Italy and the world in the Publifoto Intesa Sanpaolo 1939-1981 Archive" opened to the public on Saturday 13 April 2019 at CAMERA - Italian Center for Photography in Turin , the first organic survey of the extraordinary heritage of 'Agency, acquired in 2015 by Intesa Sanpaolo which, through its own historical archive, preserves, restores, studies and enhances it also with the support of experts, as happened on the occasion of the realization of this exhibition. The exhibition - created by CAMERA with Intesa Sanpaolo as part of Progetto Cultura, the three-year program of the Bank's cultural initiatives - presents some of the crucial episodes in Italian and world history and news in a period ranging from 1939, the year in which Vincenzo Carrese wanted to call his agency "Publifoto" - founded in Milan in 1937 with the name Keystone - until 1981, the year of the founder's death. Almost half a century of events told through 240 images taken by photographers of what was for a long time the most important photojournalist agency in the country. These are the golden years of photojournalism and, to highlight the inseparable link between images and the press of the time, the exhibition is built on the model of an illustrated magazine, through sections dedicated to politics, news, abroad, customs, society, culture and sport. Within these sections, the focus falls on facts and characters who have given a decisive imprint to these years, and on the stories that, also thanks to the skill of photographers, have become an integral part of the collective imagination of the twentieth century. As Aldo Grasso, mass media scientist and co-curator of the exhibition declares: the enormous heritage that Publifoto left us gives us back a world now consigned to history (1939-1981) but which, thanks to this exhibition, also finds a new life and arouses emotions intact. The work of the photographer, in fact, is always twofold: on the one hand he plunders but at the same time he conserves; denounces but at the same time consecrates. For this reason, each collection of photographs is an adventurous journey, it is the passionate tale of this journey animated by the memory of amazing feats, of characters, of apparitions that maintain intact liveliness in the arrangement, the suspended and unrepeatable emotion of the gesture fixed once. forever. Among the numerous events brought to light, for historical, media or photographic importance, the referendum and the proclamation of the Italian Republic in 1946, the consequences of the attack in Togliatti in July 1948, the criminal stories of Rina Fort and the kidnapping of Terrazzano, the flood of the Polesine, the tragic end of the Grande Torino, the Beatles concert in Milan, the construction of the Italian motorway network, the protagonists of Cinecittà. An authentic journey into history and news, through the shots - sometimes vintage, sometimes reprinted starting from the negatives present in the Publifoto Intesa Sanpaolo Archive - by authors such as Carrese himself, Fedele Toscani, Tino Petrelli, Peppino Giovi, Carlo Ancillotti and other collaborators of the agency, sometimes remained anonymous. The first room of the exhibition is dedicated to the life of the agency, to the daily work behind the scenes, so as to immediately immerse the viewer in the heart of the photojournalistic practice and highlight the many areas in which the agency operated, such as advertising. In this section, some original objects from the Archive will also be exhibited: drawers, envelopes containing photographs divided by subject or by name, collections of magazines, all objects that allow us to understand the organization of work in an era still dominated by paper, in which there was still no digital technology that today also permeates this work. The exhibition and its set-up are also an opportunity to analyze the relationship between photography and printed paper and to correctly read the very nature of these photographs, which were born and lived with very specific purposes, which dictated not only technical rules, but also a aesthetics, which had a decisive influence on the popular perception of photographic language. A 360-degree vision of a phenomenon that had an impact on the very idea of communication and journalism in post-World War II Italy. To underline the link with the current reality of the Archive, some photographic works created for the exhibition by the photographer Pino Musi will be exhibited, which represent and interpret the environments and details of the Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive in its current location.