It’s Beautiful Here, Isn’t It . . .
In one of Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri’s better-known photos, a woman stands on a tile map of southern Italy, her sandal-clad feet atop Capri and the Bay of Naples. Of this gentle Colossus bestriding sea and craggy coast, we see only green shoes, bare ankles, and the hem of a dress. Picture taking may be a bit of magic, but geography is also just another trick of the eye: The actual world’s always bigger than we can physically embrace but not bigger than we can show. Subverting traditional landscape photography’s heroic impulse, Ghirri prized representational antics over the mere grandeur of volcanoes and dizzying cliffs. During his brief career (he died in 1992, at the age of forty-nine), he invigorated the tropes of (interior as well as exterior) landscape imagery. Drawing on the Conceptual practices
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