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  • Italo Zannier, "Autoritratto inevitabile nella toilette del Kärlter Bar (American Bar) di Adolf Loos a Vienna" (dettaglio), 1958, Archivio Italo Zannier
  • Italo Zannier, "Bambino a Costabeorchia (PN)" (dettaglio), 1955
  • Italo Zannier, "Interno ad Aquileia" (dettaglio), 1960
  • "La fotografia ha 180 anni!", photo Mart, Jacopo Salvi

Photography is 180 years old!
The illustrated book from engraving to digital /
Italo Zannier, innocent photographer

Mart Rovereto
22 February 2020 / 06 September 2020
On 7 January 2019 photography turned 180 years old. Almost two centuries have gone by, during which what was a new and revolutionary medium has become, at ever increasing speed, an everyday generator of images and narrations.

he Mart and the Comune di Ferrara pay homage to the long, fascinating history of photography with a project realised thanks to the generous availability of Italo Zannier: intellectual, lecturer and photographer, the first holder of a professorship in History of photography in Italy, as well as a figure of reference for the recognition of the discipline in this country.
The exhibition focuses on the symbolic figure of Italo Zannier: on one hand, a passionate scholar, on the other an "innocent photographer", as he is fond of defining himself. A collection of precious illustrated volumes from Zannier’s Archives outlines the evolution of the reproduced image from its origins to the present day: from pre-photography, with volumes from the 16th century, to photographic archaeology, with etchings and daguerreotypes, we arrive at the contemporary experimentations. In the exhibition layout, the books are flicked through and commented on by Italo Zannier himself, through a two-channel video installation. Completing the itinerary, as counterpoints to the main voice, are four interviews with photography and art critics: Vittorio Sgarbi, president of the Mart, Angelo Maggi and Massimo Donà, lecturers, and Michele Smargiassi, journalist.
The exhibition is enriched by a section in its own right that reflects Zannier’s sixty years of artistic activity, from 1952 to the present day: a core of approximately 100 photographic works demonstrating the practice of a great passion, from the Neorealist approach of the 1950s to the more recent experimentations in the digital sphere.

In collaboration with Comune di Ferrara and Fondazione Ferrara Arte.
PAC Ferrara, 21 November 2020 - 6 January 2021.


From an idea by Vittorio Sgarbi and Italo Zannier
Curatorial coordination by Denis Isaia

Press release

Press release