On 1 October 2020, in the Project Room at CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, the exhibition Gianni Berengo Gardin e la Olivetti will open its doors, dedicated by the Turinese institution and the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, with the collaboration of the Museo Civico ‘P. A. Garda’ of Ivrea, to the work of one of the most prominent Italian photographers: Gianni Berengo Gardin (Santa Margherita Ligure, 1930).
Curated by Margherita Naim and Giangavino Pazzola, the exhibition project highlights the intensity of the professional relationship between the photographer and the Ivrea-based company through a selection of over 70 vintage photographs in black and white, publications and other archive documents, with a curatorial approach that outlines two main sets: a formal one that examines the value of the architectural projects (industrial, residential, social, etc.); while the second more explicitly recounts the system of social relationships both inside and outside the factory. Berengo Gardin was in fact one of the auteurs who collaborated the longest with Olivetti, and through his photo shoots, he described both the social value of the architectural project and the organisation of a system of social and cultural services that brought the factory and the surrounding territory to life. The exhibition 1965–1990. Gianni Berengo Gardin e la Olivetti is furthermore a homage that the two cultural institutions wish to dedicate to the photographer on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday.
The exhibition originates from a research and study project commissioned by the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti in 2018 and carried out by Margherita Naim through the analysis and organisation of Gianni Berengo Gardin’s photographic documents held in the fonds of the Olivetti Company, and was then developed thanks to a protocol of understanding between the Archives Department of CAMERA and the Association itself, with a view to the cataloguing and appraisal of the photo fonds to be found in Ivrea – part of the wider context of the Censimento delle raccolte fotografiche in Italia (‘Census of Photographic Collections in Italy’) carried out by CAMERA on a national level, and which last year gave rise to the exhibition 1969. Olivetti Formes Et Recherche. Una Mostra Internazionale and which also on this occasion will be given a local lease of life through an encore of the exhibition in Ivrea, in the rooms of the “P.A. Garda” Civic Museum.
“We are particularly pleased,” comments CAMERA’s chairman, Emanuele Chieli, “to present the exhibition dedicated to the great Gianni Berengo Gardin in the Project Room. This is not only a major appointment in the calendar of celebrations of the fifth anniversary of our centre, but also yet another example of the attention the Foundation has always paid to the leading names in Italian and international photography. What’s more, this exhibition also provides the chance to strengthen our precious collaboration with the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti, and in this way pay tribute together to the ninetieth birthday of one of the most important Italian photographers of recent decades.”
“The renewed collaboration between the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti and CAMERA,” continues the curator of the cultural events of the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti Marcella Turchetti, “and with the Museo Civico ‘P.A. Garda’ in Ivrea, started out from the investigation and valorisation work of the historical (and photographic) heritage of the Olivetti Company carried out by the Association. We are proud of this collaboration which creates value for the territory, of its traditional cultural vocation and its support for the valorisation and protection of the World Heritage Site known as Ivrea, industrial city of the XX century, and we would like to thank CAMERA for their renewed trust and collaboration on this show.”
The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Gianni Berengo Gardin e la Olivetti published by Silvana Editoriale.