Magnum’s Italy. From Robert Capa to Paolo Pellegrin

The Palazzo Vescovile of Portogruaro presents, from 8 October 2022 to 5 February 2023, the exhibition “Magnum’s Italy. From Robert Capa to Paolo Pellegrin “, an extraordinary roundup of over one hundred images that tell the news, history and customs of our country in the last 70 years. A project that brings the great photographers of the Magnum Photos photo agency to the city for the first time. , founded in New York in 1947, an international initiative that intends to promote and enhance the city of Portogruaro and the entire territory of Eastern Venice.

The exhibition, curated by Walter Guadagnini with Arianna Visani, enjoys the patronage of the Veneto Region, is organized by the Eastern Venice Tourist District with SUAZES, the collaboration of Magnum Photos and Camera – Italian Center of Photography in Turin, and the active participation of the Portogruaro Municipality, Banca Prealpi San Biagio and many promoters of the territory.

Authors called to tell large and small events, characters and places in Italy from the post-war period to today, in a fascinating interweaving of famous and other lesser-known photographs, of places known all over the world and ordinary citizens, who make up the social fabric and visual of our country. The exhibition begins with two sensational series, one by Robert Capa, dedicated to the end of World War II, which shows a ruined country, destroyed by five years of conflict, and one by David Seymour, who in 1947 instead captures returning tourists to visit the Sistine Chapel: the eternal beauty of Italian art that appears as the sign of the rebirth of an entire nation.
The exhibition, organized for decades, continues with the images of Elliott Erwitt, René Burri: the first tells about Rome, its beauties and its contradictions with the affectionately ironic gaze that made it famous; the second takes us inside the historic 1953 Picasso exhibition in Milan, an unforgettable event for Italian culture, which once again confronted the great myths of contemporaneity.

A decade told in the exhibition by three perhaps lesser known, but no less interesting characters than the history of photography and the Magnum: Thomas Hoepker, who presents three images of the triumph of Cassius Clay (later Mohamed Ali) at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Bruno Barbey, who documents the funeral of Togliatti, a central figure in Italian politics, and not only, a figure loved by the people beyond the judgment that will later give his story.
The climate changes in the seventies and Ferdinando Scianna tells the passage between the two decades through the images of a Sicily that is always the same and always changing, Leonard Freed takes up fragments of the historic referendum on divorce that changed Italian society forever. A dozen photographs still taken by Scianna open the Eighties: they are the images of a successful businessman Berlusconi, shortly before his descent into politics, which illuminate images on the relationship between power and the image of that historical moment.
But the decade is also that of the definitive affirmation of mass tourism in our country: the great photographs by Martin Parr brilliantly capture the contrast between the beauty of the places and the bad taste of new visitors, with effects of admirable comedy.

At the end of the journey we arrive at contemporaneity. The nineties and the 2000s are like a journey between our most recent memories and current events: Alex Majoli talks about the Romagna discos of then and today, in a work designed specifically for this occasion; Thomas Dworzak takes us back to the dramatic days of the G8 in Genoa, Peter Marlow to the even more tragic story of the war in the former Yugoslavia, told through the eyes of American soldiers on an aircraft carrier off the Italian coast.
Paolo Pellegrin closes the decade, with the images of the crowded crowd in St. Peter’s Square at the vigil for the death of Pope John Paul II and with those of another crowd, that of migrants on a boat, a tragic sign of current events.

Magnum’s Italy. From Robert Capa to Paolo Pellegrin
from 8 October 2022 to 5 February 2023
Palazzo Vescovile, Portogruaro, Venice – ITALY

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