Johanna Diehl

Borgo Romanità Alleanza

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Johanna Diehl
Borgo Romanità Alleanza

Text(s) by Christin Müller, Miriam Paeslack, Falk Haberkorn, graphic design by Wiebke Rosin

German, English

2014. 160 pp., 71 ills.

hardcover

24.00 x 31.90 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-3879-8

Potemkin villages among the pines: striking photographs that capture the stony aesthetic of Mussolini’s propragandistic architecture

Under Mussolini planned model settlements called borghi were constructed throughout Italy to imple­ment fascist agrarian reforms. Particularly in Sicily many of these structures still stand empty. In her vi­sually pared-down series Borgo, Johanna Diehl (* 1977) uses a large-format camera to document over twenty of these utopian settlements, portraying them as ghostly theater sets, with buildings designated for party gatherings and triumphal arches. In her subse­quent series Romanità she examines the materials and imagery of public buildings in Rome from this period. Marble and martially intoned frescos illus­trate the fascist historical lineage as dating back to ancient Rome—an aesthetic still dominating the at­mosphere of ministries and congress halls in the cap­ital. In Alleanza the photographer finds architectural records of the unholy alliance between church and state in the years of the dictatorship, as expressed in the lofty, formal language of churches constructed at this time.

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