Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Kodachrome" by Luigi Ghirri

Born in Scandiano in 1942, Luigi Ghirri spent his working life in the Emilia Romagna region, where he produced one of the most open and layered bodies of work in the history of photography. He was published and exhibited extensively both in Italy and internationally and was at the height of his career at the time of his death in 1992.

In 1978 Luigi Ghirri self-published his first book, Kodachrome, and 25 of the images will be on view at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York until April 20. This will be the first time this body of work will be seen in the United States.

Part amateur photo-album, Ghirri presents his surroundings in tightly cropped images, making photographs of photographs and recording the Italian landscape through it’s adverts, postcards, potted plants, walls, windows, and people. His work is deadpan, reflecting a dry wit, and is a continuous engagement with the subject of reality and of landscape as a snapshot of our interaction with the world.
The daily encounter with reality, the fictions, the surrogates, the ambiguous, poetic or alienating aspects, all seem to preclude any way out of the labyrinth, the walls of which are ever more illusory… to the point at which we might merge with them… The meaning that I am trying to render through my work is a verification of how it is still possible to desire and face a path of knowledge, to be able finally to distinguish the precise identity of man, things, life, from the image of man, things, and life.’ Luigi Ghirri
Reggio Emilia, 1972, from the series "Kodachrome," vintage c-print.

Bologna, 1973, from the series "Kodachrome," vintage c-print

Modena, 1975, from the series "Kodachrome," vintage c-print

Modena, 1975, from the series "Kodachrome," vintage c-print

Engelberg, 1972, from the series "Kodachrome," vintage cibachrome

Versailles, 1977, vintage cibachrome, from the series "Kodachrome" and "Vedute"

Luzern, 1971, from the series "Kodachrome," vintage c-print

(Estate of Luigi Ghirri, courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery, via Slate and MACK)

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