RSF. Rivista di studi di fotografia, 9/2019

The last number (9/2019) of the Journal double blind peer reviewed “RSF. Rivista di studi di fotografia”, of the Società italiana per lo studio della fotografia (SISF), is published in open access.

Le dernier numéro (9/2019) de la revue “RSF. Rivista di studi di fotografia”, de la Società italiana per lo studio della fotografia (SISF), a été publié:

RSF. Rivista di studi di fotografia, n. 9, 2019

Tiziana Serena, Editoriale.

Numero monografico: Italia/USA: miti, intersezioni, rispecchiamenti
Beth Saunder, Seguaci americani della Scuola romana di fotografia: Nathan Flint Baker, Leavitt Hunt e Richard Morris Hunt : American Pupils of the Roman School of Photography: Nathan Flint Baker, Leavitt Hunt and Richard Morris Hunt
In 1851, before embarking on a journey to Egypt and the Near East, Americans Leavitt Hunt (1831-1907) and Nathan Flint Baker (1820-1891) traveled to Rome to learn photography. There, they encountered members of the Roman School, an international group of practitioners of paper negatives. A year later, Leavitt’s brother Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895) traveled to the same sites and collected photographs. This article explores the networks that connected them to Rome, illuminating a little-known American contribution to paper photography and providing further confirmation of the influence of the Roman School on the medium’s development.

Lindsay Harris, Il volto umano del big business: fotografia documentaria americana a Matera (1948-1954): The Human Face of Big Business: American Documentary Photography in Matera (1948-1954).
Between 1948 and 1954, scores of international photographers ventured to the southern Italian town of Matera. Among them were three American photographers – Marjory Collins, Esther Bubley, and Dan Weiner – who documented signs of what Weiner later referred to as Matera’s “primitive existence,” in particular its ancient cave dwellings known as the “Sassi.” However, their reportages also recounted the town’s modernization. Their pictures highlight the cultural and economic ties that bound Italy and the United States during the postwar period. They reveal, too, the mechanisms American photographers used to distribute their work to Italian and American publications. Above all, their photographs of Matera remind us of a mainstay of American documentary photography that, while fundamental to the history of the medium, is seldom exhibited or discussed: its collaboration with the world of big business.

Antonello Frongia, La fiaba e la precisione: la mostra Nuovo paesaggio americano/Dialectical Landscapes (1987).
The 1987 exhibition Nuovo paesaggio americano/Dialectical Landscapes, organized in Venice by the late Paolo Costantini with photographs of Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, William Eggleston, John Gossage, and Stephen Shore, offered the Italian public the first major opportunity to experience firsthand a selection of recent works by five exponents of the so-called New Topographics movement. Focusing on the critical writings by Costantini and Luigi Ghirri, this essay maps the exchanges, readings, and misunderstandings between Italian and American photographic culture generated by the exhibition at a crucial moment in the canonization of the ‘Italian school’ of landscape photography.

Altri saggi
Laura Santi, Seguendo le tracce di narrazioni orali: gli album fotografici di Giulio Guicciardini Corsi Salviati (1887-1958).
This paper focuses on a series of 25 photographic albums assembled by amateur photographer Giulio Guicciardini Corsi Salviati (1887-1958) during his lifetime. A close analysis of the photographs and of the materiality of these albums according to Martha Langford’s notion of “oral-photographic framework” reveals their inherent narrative content and their original function as mnemonic devices for the construction the family’s history.

Adriano D’Aloia, Il fotospazio sociale. Trasformazioni prossemiche nella fotografia digitale quotidiana.
The photospace is a physical and social territory generated by the behaviour of passersby that come across a photographic act in public urban spaces. Adopting an enactive approach to the media experience, the article analyses the results of a field research focused on the practice of everyday photography with digital devices in the city of Milan. As the outcome of an interaction between the body and the environment through the mediation of technology, the photospace challenges both classic proxemics and dramaturgy.

Cristiana Sorrentino, Gli esordi di Carla Cerati fotografa, 1960-1964, pp. 120-133
This paper investigates the first period of Carla Cerati’s (1926-2016) photographic career, focusing in particular on three main issues: her beginnings as a member of the Circolo Fotografico Milanese in the early 1960s; the critical reception and primary interpretations of her work during the same period; and the analysis of her photographic language, based on the first reconstruction of her initial output.

Lorenzo Marmo, Il genere e la modernità. Una riflessione sulle fonti per riformulare il concetto di Street Photography, pp. 134-146
The notion of Street Photography – increasingly popular nowadays in the online environment – is characterized by a layered and elusive identity. This paper proposes to re-examine its possible definitions, its history, canon, and boundaries through the filter of Rick Altman’s theory of film genre. At the same time, the paper aims at connecting the reflections on photography and the urban environment to the wider strand of studies in the humanities that revolve around the concept of modernity.

Paul Tucker: Recensione di Sarah Quill, Ruskin a Venezia: The Stones Revisited, Milano, Jaca Book, 2018, pp. 256, ISBN 9788816605572, pp. 148-150.

Monica Di Barbora: Recensione di Damarice Amao / Florian Ebner / Christian Joschke (a cura di), Photographie, arme de classe. La photographie sociale et documentaire en France, 1928-1936, Paris, Centre Pompidou – Éditions Textuel, 2018, pp. 304, ISBN 9782845977440, pp. 150-152.

Sergio Giusti: Recensione di Jeff Wall, Gestus. Scritti sulla fotografia e sull’arte, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2019, pp. 244, ISBN 9788822903129, pp. 152-154.

Tiziana Serena
Professor of History of Photography
University of Florence, Italy

TOC: RSF. Rivista di studi di fotografia, 9/2019. In:, Nov 7, 2019 (accessed Aug 8, 2020), <>.

Contributor: Tiziana Serena, Università degli studi di Firenze

Contribution published: Nov 7, 2019

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