Focus | Theories of the Phototext

Geografie dello sguardo. Ghirri, Berger, Celati


In chasing the perfect moment—the Barthesian punctum—some photographers seem to harbor a silent desire of possession, a ravenous attitude towards their objects. Luigi Ghirri, on the contrary, imagined his photographs as a sort of “caress” given to ordinary and forgotten places. His research on the landscape drew up an “atlas of the gaze” which was at the same time a narrative “catalogue of perceptual habits”. His work reveals many affinities with writers such as John Berger, Gianni Celati and Peter Handke, and filmmakers such as Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog. They were all looking for new ways to rethink and represent the relationship between “landscape” and “inscape”, against the contemporary “destruction of experience”, in Giorgio Agamben’s terms. Ghirri, Berger and Celati, in particular, decided to follow, in their texts and photographs, feeble “traces” and “appearances” of a possible re-enchantment of the world. “Perhaps in the end all the places, objects, things, and faces we met by chance”, Ghirri wrote, “are simply waiting for someone to look at them, to recognise them and not to deprecate them”.

Parole chiave

Luigi Ghirri, John Berger, Gianni Celati, Letteratura, Fotografia

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