Maria Antonella Pelizzari

  • Gabriele Basilico in San Francisco in 2007. Photo: Nora Raggio.
    passages July 12, 2013

    Gabriele Basilico (1944–2013)

    ON FEBRUARY 13TH, 2013, as the news of Gabriele Basilico’s passing reached me from Milan, I became profoundly aware of the tremendous mark left by this internationally known photographer on his own community. His premature death at the age of sixty-eight, after a difficult year fighting with cancer, left everybody numb, deprived of a friend and a guide, while his photography, imbued with a special kind of humanism and engaged in a new definition of urban culture, continued to resonate worldwide.

    Basilico had been the ideal interlocutor for architects and urban planners. Born in Milan, he received

  • Luigi Ghirri, Ile Rousse, 1976, C-print, 9 1/2 x 14 1/8". From the series “Kodachrome,” 1970–78.


    IMAGINE ENTERING A DARK ROOM in which the landscape outside appears slowly and upside down. Everything you know becomes strange and intimate, and it takes time to realize that you are immersed in a projection that endows a new sense of being in the world. Flipping the ordinary into the extraordinary, Luigi Ghirri’s astonishing small color photographs share a similar effect, if not an actual orientation. Twenty-one years after the artist’s premature passing at the age of forty-nine, we are still captivated by his enigmatic vision of routine life.

    Living in an Italy overrun by clichéd images of