ART: "Imaginary Geography"
Luigi Ghirri retrospective
Through July 24th

Photographer Luigi Ghirri had a knack for photographing not only the tangible and present, but the intangible and absent.

His tableaus of simple everyday scenes have an element of expectation in them; many of them are mildly puzzling, as if the human figures in the landscape are present but not able to be seen.

Ghirri’s visuals often seem to be bookplates to accompany a well-worn phrase by Marcel Proust: "The real voyage of discovery does not consist in searching for new lands, but in having new eyes.”

His works focus mainly on details picked out of landscapes, elements of architecture, candid snaps of ordinary people. Apart from that, his work is not really reducible to simple terms, as it contains a deeper, poetic quality beyond the visual captured on film.

There’s an element in his work which is present in the most intriguing works of photography; the dichotomy of memory versus documentation, the exterior versus the internalized, history versus the physical place, the private versus public, the "two categories of the world", synthesized by Ghirri.

But never the one without the other: images delineate an ‘imaginary geography’; not a map of an imaginary place, but kilometer zero for the imagination -- space that stops time, fixity that moves.

It is through this journey of the intensified (the telescope, replaced by the camera) that we learn how to use our mind’s eye to fill in the rest of the story. This exhibit includes more than sixty of Luigi Ghirri's photographs.

Find it: francosoffiantino artecontemporanea
Via Rossini 23
Torino, Italy
Get info: +39 011 837743

Find more art events in the June 2004 issue of "Arte Six".