At PoliTo

The magical eye of Carlo Mollino photographer

18 January 2018

Among the best known and celebrated architects of the twentieth century and professor at the Politecnico, Carlo Mollino always reserved a privileged role for photography, using it both as an expressive means and as a fundamental tool for documenting and filing his work and his daily life. Until 13 May next, the exhibition “The magical eye of Carlo Mollino. Photographs 1934-1973” at CAMERA - Italian Centre for Photography will narrate the journey and poetry of Mollino photographer, exhibiting more than 500 photos taken by the architect and kept in the Archives of the ‘Roberto Gabetti’ Central Library of Architecture of the University.

The exhibition, the largest and most complete ever realised on the subject, investigates the relationship between Mollino and photography, highlighting its uniqueness and recurring features, starting from the first architectural photos taken in the 1930s to the Polaroids of the latter years of his life. Following in the footsteps of his father Eugenio, an engineer and photography enthusiast, Carlo Mollino approached this expressive language as a youngster, developing not only a vast amount of images halfway between the traditional approach, of which he had profound awareness, and the impulse of experimentation, but also a peculiar critical conscience that led him in 1949 to publish “Il messaggio dalla camera oscura - The message from the dark room”, innovative volume as fundamental for the diffusion of photographic culture in Italy and its acceptance among the major arts. This exhibition, curated by Francesco Zanot, aims to deepen the extraordinary complexity and fruitfulness of Carlo Mollino's reflection on photography, placing it definitively in the history of this discipline through a journey that alternates great classics with completely new and hitherto unexhibited works.

Overcoming any classification of genres, incompatible with the very complex and multifaceted nature of Carlo Mollino, who at the same time worked on very different projects and interests making them inevitably merge with each other, the exhibition is divided into four thematic sections, each entitled with a quotation taken from the writings of the author himself.