The Sassi of Matera past and present

A retrospective survey photographs of the Fondo Viggiano

Roberto Nadalin

«Colour, the admixture of light and shadows, volumetric considerations, the materiate aspect of reality are all integral parts of the photographs taken over time, brilliantly highlighting differences between each succeeding era. Such an inter-generational ‘dialogue’ becomes all the more significant in the present case: a series of new pictures of Matera, right in the Sassi districts – the Sasso Caveoso and the Sasso Barisano – set in contrast to others taken 50 years earlier.»

Daniela Esposito
Full professor of Architecture and Director of the Postgraduate School for Architectural Heritage and Landscapes at ‘Sapienza’ University, Rome

«Viggiano began photographing the Sassi at a time when residents were still evacuating the area. This particular aspect made those photographs specially poignant in so far as they off ered striking testimony of a city in its death throes.»

Elena Berardi
CEO of the MiBACT Fototeca Nazionale at the ICCD

«Memory and innovation: many current debates are centred on these two aspects and more generally on the question of how to recover key historic sites.»

Antonella Guida* e Vito D. Porcari**
**Full professor of European and Mediterranean Cultures at the University
**Research Fellow e PhD in Cities and Landscapes

«Through Photography, custodian of our memory,a single image, no longer a mere testimony of times gone by, becomes at once a historical document and an instrument for scholarly research, disclosing important truths about the past and its repercussions on the present.»

Daniela Concas
Adjunct professor for Faculty of Architecture at ‘Sapienza’ University, Rome

«One preliminary task would be to advance new readings, through the medium of Photography, of the ways in which policy making, social malaise, arts, science, architecture and urban design have interlocked with each other because it is in Matera where strictly mono-disciplinary approaches have been tried and often found wanting.»

Amerigo Restucci
Professor emeritus and former rector of the IUAV University of Venice

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