Fotografia Europea 2018 - Off

Reggio Emilia State Record Office, corso Cairoli n. 6 - Municipality of Reggio Emilia

21 April-15 June 2018 - Exhibitions

FE_2018 Locandina

    Monday - Friday: 9,30 - 12,30

    Special opening times:

    Saturday 21 April:  17,00 - 20,00

    Sunday 22 April:    17,00 - 20,00





Fotografia Europea 2018



Upheavals, Changes, Utopias


The new edition of Fotografia Europea acts within the realm of the “revolution of gaze and vision” that originated at the very birth of photography.

“REVOLUTIONS. Upheavals, Changes, Utopias” is the thirteenth edition’s theme, curated by the Scientific Committee of Fondazione Palazzo Magnani.Affresco Galliani: particolare

The word revolution comes from the Latin term revolutio, which in turn finds its root in the verb revolvere. Its common and widespread perception is in the realm of politics: a violent disruption of the established order, aiming at a radical upheaval of the status quo.

The best-known examples exemplify the paradoxical aspect of the term, interpreted here as a sudden interruption of a process of change and which therefore provokes a halt in the current evolution and not necessarily a step forward.

The term revolution belongs to every field of human knowledge and behaviour, to all fundamental, ground-breaking changes, whose effects persist far beyond the moment they took place.

Thus the term Revolution, or revolutions rather, understood in the broad sense of rebellious acts, change, renewal, which may or may not provoke an immediate response leading to direct consequences, which may or may not preserve the utopian character which often shaped its original ideal, which may or may not be charachterized by things turning onto themselves.

What is the meaning of the word revolution in today’s world? How can we represent the revolution today, besides and beyond the most immediate journalistic practices?

The program is also enriched by the OFF circuit: the free and independent section of Fotografia Europea, that springs from the spontaneous initiative of individuals, galleries, associations and public and private institutions, and that offers exhibitions and events all over the territory.




Images and stories from a fresco by Omar Galliani



Small towns are suspended between being seemingly innocent and asleep: their stories seem to be a shared heritage, at times so obvious that they are then forgotten and lost; these stories are instead a wealth to be explored, deepened and told in turn, and with the perhaps vaguely utopian will to keep the places we are attached to alive through memory and knowledge.


Affresco Galliani: viso donnaThis is one of those stories, which has the added value of having Art as its protagonist, and of being a story of revolution (representative and visual) and change (of opinions, mentality and perspective).


This is the story of the fresco of the Martyrdom of Saint Stephen painted in 1973/74 on commission by a very young author of Italian Art, who is now recognised everywhere. Omar Galliani painted it in the Church dedicated to the Saint in Colorno, in the province of Parma. And it is a sad story because after only a few years, the painting was censored with the raising of a wall that blocked its view: the expressive and contemporary characters, the strong colours, and an almost-photographic visual rendering in some cases, were not only misunderstood, but interpreted as a scandalous element in a consecrated space.

   Affresco Galliani: dettagli

After many years, a wiser and more possibilist approach led to the demolition of the wall, which fortunately had not been built directly adherent to the wall of the fresco, and in 2003/04 its faces and colours returned to tell their story.


The painting should again be visible, if it were not for the fact that the Church is closed due to instability following the earthquake of 2012 and is in dire need of restoration (although it has been discreetly preserved and perhaps, paradoxically, this is thanks to the cavity that was concealing it).

Affresco Galliani: gente   

But, as is known, certain stories are still told to those who want to listen, and in this case, want to observe.


«Colorno had a great adventure in 1973/74... The construction began in the autumn of 1973, I had prepared the fresco cartoons in the summer of the same year with a preparatory sketch. The construction site opened early in the morning... the mason would prepare the fragment of lime that I would paint during the day. A daily commitment... October, November, December, January, February, March, April and finally May for the public opening... The preparatory project was seen by the client and the parish priest, who gave a favourable opinion... Then the censorship, the sad story. A wall was erected as per the ordersAffresco Galliani of the parish priest, because according to hearsay such a work in a reconsecrated Church was scandalous, exhibiting the Saint in his nakedness under the eyes of the faithful and nuns. The wall was erected without once questioning me... We once again climbed onto the scaffolding, from where the eyes, hands, bodies and figures that for so many years had been denied by that wall began to emerge enchantedly, under the blows of a hammer and from the dust of the rubble.».



Documents to download

Back to Top ↑