Luigi Ghirri

Luigi-Ghirri-Kodachrome-coverLuigi-Ghirri-Kodachrome-spread

Luigi Ghirri
Kodarchrome

In 1978 Luigi Ghirri self-published his first book, an avant-garde manifesto for the medium of photography and a landmark in his own remarkable oeuvre. Kodachrome has long been out of print and on the 20th anniversary of Ghirri’s death, MACK is proud to publish the second edition.

‘Ghirri fights to maintain our ability to see. His works are powerful devices for the re-education of the gaze. They alter the perception we have of the world without proposing a single path to follow, rather they provide us with the tools we need to find the one we’re looking for.’ – Francesco Zanot

Part amateur photo-album, Ghirri presents his surroundings in tightly cropped images, making photographs of photographs and recording the Italian landscape through it’s adverts, postcards, potted plants, walls, windows, and people. His work is deadpan, reflecting a dry wit, and is a continuous engagement with the subject of reality and of landscape as a snapshot of our interaction with the world.

This new edition of Kodachrome is published as a facsimile of the original, adopting the original design, text layout and image sequence, but using new image files scanned from Ghirri’s original film to take advantage of modern technology and printing methods. A small booklet is included with an essay by Francesco Zanot, which offers a contemporary perspective on the historical impact of Kodachrome, alongside French and German translations of the original texts from the book (which were published in English and Italian).

‘The daily encounter with reality, the fictions, the surrogates, the ambiguous, poetic or alienating aspects, all seem to preclude any way out of the labyrinth, the walls of which are ever more illusory… to the point at which we might merge with them… The meaning that I am trying to render through my work is a verification of how it is still possible to desire and face a path of knowledge, to be able finally to distinguish the precise identity of man, things, life, from the image of man, things, and life.’ – Luigi Ghirri

Born in Scandiano in 1942, Luigi Ghirri spent his working life in the Emilia Romagna region, where he produced one of the most open and layered bodies of work in the history of photography. He was published and exhibited extensively both in Italy and internationally and was at the height of his career at the time of his death in 1992.

Photography critic and curator Francesco Zanot has been working with some of the most renowned European and international photographers, including Alec Soth and Olivo Barbieri, for over 10 years. He has participated in multiple conferences and seminars on photography in different institutions such as Columbia University in New York and the American Academy in Rome. He is associate editor of Fantom, photographic quarterly magazine based in Milan and New York.

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Luigi Ghirri
Kodachrome



In 1978 Luigi Ghirri self-published his first book, “Kodachrome”, an avant-garde manifesto for the medium of photography and a landmark in his own remarkable oeuvre.

This is a very rare copy of the first edition of “Kodachrome”, published by Contrejour, Paris in 1978. Although the book notes ‘2em edition pour la France’, in reality this is the first French edition, published alongside the first Italian edition (by Punto e Virgolaone) in 1978, and is not a reprint of it. In 2012 Mack Books in London re-printed the book for the first time since these original, highly collectable editions were available.

‘Ghirri fights to maintain our ability to see. His works are powerful devices for the re-education of the gaze. They alter the perception we have of the world without proposing a single path to follow, rather they provide us with the tools we need to find the one we’re looking for.’ – Francesco Zanot

‘His photographs are like passport photos of the real’ – Roland Barthes.

Part amateur photo-album, Ghirri presents his surroundings in tightly cropped images, making photographs of photographs and recording the Italian landscape through it’s adverts, postcards, potted plants, walls, windows, and people. His work is deadpan, reflecting a dry wit, and is a continuous engagement with the subject of reality and of landscape as a snapshot of our interaction with the world.

‘The daily encounter with reality, the fictions, the surrogates, the ambiguous, poetic or alienating aspects, all seem to preclude any way out of the labyrinth, the walls of which are ever more illusory… to the point at which we might merge with them… The meaning that I am trying to render through my work is a verification of how it is still possible to desire and face a path of knowledge, to be able finally to distinguish the precise identity of man, things, life, from the image of man, things, and life.’ – Luigi Ghirri

Born in Scandiano in 1942, Luigi Ghirri spent his working life in the Emilia Romagna region, where he produced one of the most open and layered bodies of work in the history of photography. He was published and exhibited extensively both in Italy and internationally and was at the height of his career at the time of his death in 1992.

A masterpiece of colour photography!

Introduction by Piero Berengo Gardin.
Foreword and photos by Luigi Ghirri.

All texts in French and English.

* Condition: Good-Very Good (common age yellowing to cover, small wear and rubbing to spine, edges and corners, overall good with tight, bright, clean pages throughout in very good condition) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Luigi Ghirri
The Complete Essays 1973–1991


Luigi Ghirri (1943–1992) started writing about photography from the moment he became a photographer: for his own publications, for Italian magazines and newspapers, as well as private reflections committed to paper, where his thoughts would settle and then often depart in new directions.

Published for the first time in English, The Complete Essays 1973–1991 comprises sixty-eight texts in which Ghirri explores the same subjects at the core of his photographs – the themes of identity, time, memory, vision, representation, and sense of place. As a voracious reader with a particular taste for the eclectic, Ghirri also reaches outwards from his own practice to explore the history of photography as he considers the work of Walker Evans, William Eggleston, Robert Adams and John Gossage, weaving in references to musicians, writers and painters alike. As themes and ideas overlap, the compilation of texts create a sort of dialectic chamber of curiosities that includes Gulliver, Van Gogh’s yellow house, Cézanne, Morandi’s studio, Mallarmé, the fireworks above Trani Cathedral, neo-realist films, lots of music, Francis Bacon, McLuhan’s global village, Pessoa, poetry. Together, the essays offer an unintentional yet comprehensive treatise on the history and theory of photography, and above all, they constitute a special form of autobiography.
Accompanied by 50 colour plates.

Born in Scandiano in 1943, Luigi Ghirri spent his working life in the Emilia Romagna region, where he produced one of the most open and layered bodies of work in the history of photography. He was published and exhibited extensively both in Italy and internationally and was at the height of his career at the time of his death in 1992. His first book, Kodachrome (1978), an avant-garde manifesto for the medium of photography and a landmark in his own remarkable oeuvre, was re-published by MACK in 2012.

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Luigi Ghirri
730 Fifth Avenue, New York


This limited edition book was published to mark the opening of Bulgari’s new store in their New York Fifth Avenue shop, designed by Italian architect, Piero Sartogo. With photographic illustrations by Luigi Ghirri, Wolfgang Hoyt, Norman McGrath, and Piero Sartogo

*Condition: Very Good (slight marking to front cover) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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