Viewing and writing Italian landscape. Luigi Ghirri and his legacy in photography and literature

This project has now completed. You may read the archive of our activities and blog on the pages below.

Project leaders:

  • Principle Investigator: Marina Spunta (School of Modern Languages, University of Leicester)
  • Co-Investigator: Jacopo Benci (British School at Rome).

Duration: Two years: 1 September 2013 – 31 August 2015

Funded by: The British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants

Luigi Ghirri, 'Pomponesco, 1985', courtesy Fototeca della Biblioteca Panizzi, Reggio Emilia © Eredi di Luigi Ghirri


Aims of the project

This research project has two interlinked aims.

1. Broaden the study of the work of Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992)

In the 1970s and 1980s Ghirri initiated an important theoretical and practical renewal of photography as an art form. His innovative vision gave a new aesthetic identity to everyday places and greatly contributed to positing landscape at the core of the artistic practice and theoretical debates in Italy, and as the focus of a growing number of interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.

2. The second objective is twofold:

  • Explore Ghirri’s legacy in contemporary photography, literature and other disciplines (e.g. geography, aesthetics) and practices (e.g. art, moving image, architecture).
  • Examine further the intersection among photography, narrative writing and the investigation of space, place and landscape both within Italy and outside.

Our project is interdisciplinary in that it aims to bring together scholars and practitioners working in different fields and from different theoretical approaches on a wide range of questions relating to space, place and landscape, photography/visual culture and literature/writing. Our research network seeks to move towards bridging the gap that often divides Italian and British/Irish/Anglophone artistic practice and theoretical debates, and to offer new opportunities of dialogue among artists, scholars and policy-makers working within and outside of Italy/the British Isles.

Activities and events

In order to meet these aims we are:

  • Setting up an interdisciplinary research network
  • Establishing an online resource
  • Organising a series of events

Find out more details of the activities and planned events

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