The Unofficial Archive

Italian Portraits by Giovanni Pezzato

Italian Portraits

Contemporary Italy struggles to define its identity. What is most absent in Italy now – and has been lacking over the past 20 years – is imagination. Italy has become a country unable to project itself in a future, even utopian or skewed, as it is unable to frame its present or to read its inner movements. My portrait of Italy has two lines of approach. The first one is descriptive, trying to find the elusive details in the present, while the second turns towards the imagination, trying to picture a provocative future. I have collected the daily portraits provided by Italian newspapers. Using only the photographs, I made collages picturing different ideal Italian urban realities: Polis, the Piazza and the City of Desires. The collages have been then brought to the streets of Italy, reconnecting the portrait with its origins, providing a space for questioning identity, future and choices.

Giovanni Pezzato