REFOCUS. Visual Archive of the Pandemic


Visual Archive of the Pandemic

Curated by
Matteo Balduzzi e Matteo Piccioni

20 October – 21 November 2021
Triennale Milano
Viale Alemagna 6, Milano


The Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity (DGCC) of the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea and Triennale Milano is presenting the exhibition titled REFOCUS. Visual Archive of the Pandemic, curated by Matteo Balduzzi and Matteo Piccioni. The exhibition brings together the works of forty young photographers who knew how to interpret experiences, situations and feelings during the months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The exhibition from 20 October until 21 November 2021 in the rooms of Triennale Milano presents 360 photographs that with a considerable range of themes and languages chronicles the unique period of Italy’s history by way of valuable visual documentation. Two open calls for artists were held between the Spring and Autumn of 2020. The first was to testify to the suspension lived during the quarantine months while the aim of the second was to stimulate a reflection regarding the transformations of Italian society during the period immediately following the lockdown. These public calls gave rise to the selection of the following forty photographers: Fulvio Ambrosio, Arianna Arcara, Lorenzo Bacci and Flavio Moriniello, Fabrizio Bellamo, Giacomo Bianco, Alessandro Calabrese, Mara Callegaro, Sofiya Chotyrbok, Daniele Cimaglia and Giuseppe Odore, Tomaso Clavarino, Antonio Colavito, Giulia De Gregori, Matteo de Mayda, Ilaria Di Biagio, Riccardo Dogana, Stefan Giftthaler, Filippo Gobbato, Luigi Greco, Giulia Iacolutti, Guido Lettieri, Claudio Majorana, Stefano Maniero, Luca Marianaccio, Guido Montani, Matteo Montenero, Domenico Nardulli, Claudia Orsetti, Mattia Paladini, Nunzia Pallante, Nicolò Panzeri, Claudia Petraroli, Camilla Piana, Benedetta Ristori, Giorgio Salimeni, Claudia Sinigaglia, Andrea Storni, Jacopo Valentini, Cosimo Veneziano, Hugo Weber, Alba Zari.

REFOCUS is the third phase of a more comprehensive photographic project of the visual documentation of Italy during the year of the pandemic, titled 2020FermoImmagine on the idea and following the guidelines of the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini. In fact, 2021 saw the inauguration in Rome of the exhibition titled Italia in attesa: held at Palazzo Barberini in Rome from the 25 February to the 19 September 2021, it was dedicated to 12 of the most prominent Italian photographers. This was followed with the exhibition at Palazzo Poli from 21 May to 16 July 2021 titled Città sospese which presented the results of a photographic campaign produced by photographers of the Ministry. The intention of REFOCUS has been to concentrate its attention on once again ‘focussing’ on reality following the effects which the confinement had on the both spatial and temporal coordinates of day-to-day life, supporting the activity of photographers aged under 40 and acknowledging their fundamental role within society.

In this exhibition the photographs are presented in the form of video projection in a multimedial representation ideated and mounted by Dotdotdot Studio: the exhibits are articulated by way of a series of large panels placed in each room’s space and accompanied by a sound project of Triennale Milano Teatro and Radio Raheem together with a number of brief texts written by the photographers.
The immersive experience of the installation invites the visitor to perceive and enjoy a facetted visual experience capable of combining a principally sustained collective flow with extemporary moments in which the fundamental intention of the individual photographer emerges. The exhibition retraces the times of the open calls, each of which subdivided into four thematic areas that correspond to the recurrent readings of the reality in the photographer’s images: experiences of a diary form together with relational ones tied to the private sphere, ‘stories’ of landscapes and communities of Italy, linguistic experiments, transfigurations and allegories of reality. The variety of techniques and languages, ranging from traditional reporting to meta-photographic experimentation and in which one has the alternation of diverse styles and feelings – introspection, fear, autobiography, dismay and the sense of feeling lost, hope, waiting and expectation – is representative of the expressive wealth of these young photographers of our contemporary artistic panorama.

On the occasion of this exhibition the photographers will produce a printed version of their work which will be acquired by Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, in this way going towards enriching our public collections.



REFOCUS. Visual Archive of the Pandemic
20 October – 21 November 2021
Curated by Matteo Balduzzi and Matteo Piccioni
Graphic and exhibition design: Dotdotdot
Catalogue: Witty Books
Free entrance

Opening hours
11.00 a.m. until 8 p.m.
last visitor allowed entrance at 7.p.m.

Triennale Milano
Viale Alemagna 6, Milano


This content is also available in: Italian