“Come into the alleys of my quarter. In these dark arteries of pain every day is engulfed by poverty. What do you want to know about us? We shake each other’s hand with the rags flapping and we tell each other everything without fear. When someone is born they become the child of the whole quarter, when someone dies our hearts and our voices stop.”  — Nanni Selva

The new project of the Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography is a unique possibility to plunge into the world of the Italian Neorealism, the unique cultural phenomenon which arose in the 40s of the 20th century. Its creative principles were formulated by the playwright and film critic Zavattini. In these severe years for Italy he urged not to be distracted by a romantic plot and happy-ends, and to pay attention to real destinies of simple people, unemployment, contrast between poverty and riches.

The main features were the documentary nature, ordinariness, denial of decoration and studio shootings. Neorealists acted as chroniclers, telling about the tragedy of their people, who endured fascism and defeat in the war.

The tendency of neorealism was taken up by photographers. In 1946 Luigi Crocenzi published his earliest photo-stories “Italia Senza Tempo” and “Occhio Su Milano”. For Crocenzi it was important to create a story with the help of photographic images - “a still movie on printed paper”. In 1951 Crocenzi published the picture story “Nei vicoli del mio quartiere” with a text by the poet Nanni Selva, a quote from which is in the epigraph.On December 1, 1955 the Friuli Group for a New Photography (GFNF) was organized. Its participants were the most significant Italian photographers of the second half of the 20th century: the brothers Gianni and Giuliano Borghesan , Italo Zannier, Aldo Beltrame , Carlo Bevilacqua, Toni Del Tin, Fulvio Roiter and later Giuseppe Bruno, Nino Migliori , Luciano Ferri and Gianni Berengo Gardin .

The members of the group intended to reflect contemporary history in photography, which poetically documented the world around.

In 1961 Luigi Crocenzi supervised Mario Giacomelli’s exhibition “Un Uomo, Una Donna, Un Amore”: the great photographer who completely changed the point of view of Neorealism by introducing a new tonal poetry in the image (similar to what Federico Fellini began to do in the cinema) and created his photo-stories without useless details.In 1963 and 1964 Crocenzi cooperated with Alvaro Valentini, Toni Nicolini and Piero Berengo Gardin in producing photographic scenarios for RAI, the national television: poetry by the great poets was dramatized with sequences of photographs. While an offstage voice recited the texts, a television camera would slide over the images. This was an attempt to create a relationship between an image and a literary text.

Photo-stories made by Luigi Crocenzi, works by the Friuli Group for a New Photography, shots by Mario Giacomelli that represent the complete story, created by the imagination of the photographer  are main objects of the exhibition " Photography and Neorealism in Italy 1945 – 1965”.The exhibition was being prepared for almost a year, before this exhibition many of the authors have never been shown in Russia. The project was exhibited in France, Italy, and USA. In Moscow - for the first time. The exhibition was made by the Italian Center of Research and Archiviation of Photography (CRAF), the Italian Institute of Culture in Moscow with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and includes 127 works. 

Italian Neorealism in Photography

18 January - 26 February 2012
Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography
Moscow, Chocolate factory "Red October"
Bolotnaya nab.,3, bld. 1