Turin, Mario Giacomelli rereads Leopardi: on display shots inspired by the famous poem A Silvia

PHOS Multipurpose Center for Photography and Visual Arts in Turin presents thirty-four photographs by Mario Giacomelli inspired by Giacomo Leopardi's famous poem A Silvia. Also scheduled are five lectures on the relationship between photography and literature.

From Nov. 15, 2021 to Jan. 31, 2022 PHOS Multipurpose Center for Photography and Visual Arts in Turin presents, in collaboration with CRAF Center for Research and Archiving of Photography in Spilimbergo, Mario Giacomelli and Giacomo Leopardi. Poetry in Images, a photographic exhibition featuring works by Mario Giacomelli (Senigallia, 1925 - 2000) inspired by Giacomo Leopardi ’s famous poem A Silvia. Starting from the great photographer’s shots, five lectures are also proposed to investigate the relationship that photography has with literature, philosophy of knowledge, and media communication.

Very often Giacomelli was inspired by poetic compositions, and the exhibition will feature precisely thirty-four of his photographs that intend to render Leopardi’s song A Silvia in images. The series was conceived by the photographer in 1964 at the suggestion of critic and photographer Luigi Crocenzi as part of a program of iconic “translation” of poetic texts. For the occasion Crocenzi had provided a storyboard and Giacomelli undertook to take the respective photographs. The sequence, which had didactic purposes, was aired the same year during the television program Telescuola, with accompaniment by the reciting voice of Giancarlo Sbragia.

Giacomelli’s interest in poetry and its photographic transposition was not limited to that episode, however, but continued throughout his artistic career: examples of this are the series of images inspired by compositions by Eugenio Montale, Edgar Lee Masters, Emily Dickinson, Franco Costabile, Vincenzo Cardarelli, Mario Luzi, Sergio Corazzini and the collaboration with Francesco Permunian.

Even beyond his passion for poetry, Giacomelli was interested in a lyrical and visionary approach to photography, aimed at arousing feelings and emotions rather than documenting concrete facts.

In 1988 he again drew inspiration from the poem A Silvia, developing a second series of images in which he used a more overtly symbolic and metaphorical method of exposition, far from any attempt to render the poem’s utterances directly.

The latter sequence is documented in the exhibition by related publications. Also on view will be reproductions of some letters from the epistolary between Giacomelli and Crocenzi, and between the latter and Count Pierfrancesco Leopardi (the photographic and epistolary material comes from the Crocenzi Fund of the CRAF Archive in Spilimbergo).

The five planned lectures will be held on November 15 and 22, 2021, December 13, 2021, and January 10 and 24, 2022. These are proposed as an interdisciplinary reflection conceived and curated by Elisabetta Buffa. They investigate photography’s relationship with writing, theory of knowledge and communication. The commitment to highlight the connections between various fields of knowledge is intended to involve both specialists and the general public, in the belief that photography can prove an ideal tool for dealing with culture, photographic and otherwise.

Hours: Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. or by appointment.

Event Calendar:

Nov. 15, 2021 6:30 pm Presentation of the initiative. Alvise Rampini, director of the CRAF Archive in Spilibergo, and Elisabetta Buffa, president of Phos, will speak. 7:30 p.m. Opening of the exhibition.

Nov. 22, 2021 6:30 p.m. Lecture: Giacomo Leopardi: a poet between rationality and feeling. Irreconcilable dualities or desire for a different possible convergence? Speakers: Chiara Fenoglio (University of Turin), Fulvio Vallana (University of Turin).

Dec. 13, 2021 7 p.m. Lecture: Giacomelli and the Cultural TV Years. History and semiology of television against the background of new media. Speakers: Orlando Perera (essayist, music critic, communication expert), Antonio Sant’Angelo (University of Turin).

Jan. 10, 2022 7 p.m. Lecture: Figure novels: literature and photography. A reflection on the forms of phototextual narrative in which the verbal crosses the visual. Speaker: Luigi Marfè (University of Padua).

Jan. 24, 2022 7 p.m. Lecture: What do we know through images? What idea of truth can be attributed to photography and in general to contemporary forms of iconic expression? Speakers: Guido Brivio (University of Turin), Federico Vercellone (University of Turin).

For more info: www.phosfotografia.com

Image: Mario Giacomelli, A Silvia (1964). Courtesy of CRAF - Centro di Ricerca ed Archiviazione della Fotografia, Spilimbergo.

Turin, Mario Giacomelli rereads Leopardi: on display shots inspired by the famous poem A Silvia
Turin, Mario Giacomelli rereads Leopardi: on display shots inspired by the famous poem A Silvia

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