“10 viaggi nell’architettura Italiana” at Palazzo Altemps

palazzo altemps, palace, courtyard, exhibition

Photo courtesy Studio Folder

The point of view of Matteo Balduzzi, one of the exhibition curators, and Elisa Pasqual (Studio Folder)


In the heart of Rome, stunning Palazzo Altemps provides the backdrop for an engaging blend of photography, architecture and design in a ground-breaking interactive installation that, through the work of 10 + 1 photographers, invites visitors to travel up and down the nation of Italy. After an initial run at the main Triennale Milano venue, the “10 viaggi nell’architettura Italiana” (10 Journeys through Italian Architecture) exhibition has now travelled on to the Museo Nazionale Romano in Rome, where it runs from 24 June to 4 September 2022.

Curated by Matteo Balduzzi, Alessandra Cerroti and Luciano Antonino Scuderi, the exhibition is staged by the Ministry of Culture’s General Directorate for Contemporary Creativity, in partnership with the Triennale Milano’s Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea. The installation showcases a selection of 108 images by young photographers Roberto Boccaccino, Marina Caneve, Davide Cossu, Louis De Belle, Luca Girardini and Marco Zorzanello, Paolo Lindozzi, Allegra Martin, Simone Mizzotti, Flavia Rossi, and Alberto Sinigaglia, chosen from around 3,000 photographs taken to document more than 250 Italian specimens of architecture, from recognized masterpieces to lesser-known buildings.

exhibition in a courtyard, palazzo altemps, palace, italy

Photo courtesy Studio Folder

Curator Matteo Balduzzi tells us: “The idea for the exhibition stems from the Atlante dell’Architettura Contemporanea [Atlas of Contemporary Architecture] platform set up in 2018 to raise awareness about the value of Italy’s architectural heritage. What’s so special about this exhibition is that, to enable the images to converse physically with the country, it was conceived as an installation rather than a traditional display of photographs. Working with Studio Folder, we created the bold installation that made its debut at the Triennale in Milan before moving on to Palazzo Altemps.”

This visually-appealing and evocative installation has transformed the Museo Nazionale Romano’s courtyard exhibition area into a cartographic space. Four hundred printed modules outline an abstract version of Italy on which architecture and landscapes are displayed in a series of juxtapositions, the individual photographers’ gazes blending together to form a collective landscape. Their works “float” on thin structures, assembling a kind of three-dimensional archive on a base that is a map of the whole of Italy printed on modular industrial flooring.

As Elisa Pasqual of Studio Folder explains, “We specifically created this layout to reinforce the exhibition’s underlying idea, showcasing not just the journey the photographers embarked on throughout Italy but the visitor experience, which is, literally, a stroll up and down the entire peninsula on the installation itself. The venue enhances the layout’s uniqueness, offering visitors a chance to experience the country not just at ground level but from above, looking down from the balconies that ring the palazzo’s courtyard. All the materials we’ve used are entirely recovered from the previous set-up at the Triennale, generating absolutely no waste.”

courtyard, italy, exhibition, photography

Photo courtesy Studio Folder

A partnership between multiple institutions, the dialogue between different disciplinary and artistic fields spawned an exhibition whose layout won a special award for “Exhibition Design” at the European Design Awards 2022. The photographers’ choral depiction is bolstered by a catalogue, “10 viaggi nell’architettura italiana” (Silvana Editore 2021), published to mark the first leg of the exhibition. The book offers a veritable guide to relationships between place, space and the practice of photography.

Through novel routes and stories, the exhibition has found a new way of recounting Italy. As curator Matteo Balduzzi points out, each creator has portrayed architecture while exploiting the freedom in their brief to reveal something of their own emotions.

square with columns, old building, salemi, trapani, sicily

Roberto Boccaccino, Piazza Alicia e strade adiacenti, Salemi, TP, 2019. Roberto Collovà, Alvaro Siza 1982-1998. © 2021 DGCC, Ministero della Cultura

architecture, house of the architect, house, swimming pool

Davide Cossu, Casa dell’architetto, Campobasso, 2019. Anastasio Di Virgilio 1975 -1990
© 2021 DGCC, Ministero della Cultura

museum with statues, exhibition, greek statues, mostra

Paolo Lindozzi, Museo dell’Aula Ottagona alle Terme di Diocleziano, Roma, 2020. Gianni Bulian 1983 -1997
© 2021 DGCC, Ministero della Cultura

mountain residence, Valtournenche, residential building, aosta

Allegra Martin, Complesso residenziale Giomein, Valtournenche, AO, 2019. Mario Galvagni 1965 -1972
© 2021 DGCC, Ministero della Cultura

jesi, brutalism, brutalist graveyard, cimitero monumentale, ancona

Flavia Rossi, Ampliamento Cimitero comunale, Jesi, AN, 2019. Leonardo Ricci, Franco Luminari, Silvano Rossini 1984 -2001
© 2021 DGCC, Ministero della Cultura

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19 July 2022