Italia in Miniatura

Luigi Ghirri & Ivo Rambaldi




Between the late 1970s and mid-1980s, Luigi Ghirri made a series of photographs meditating on the landscape of his native Italy, all within the grounds of a single theme park in Rimini, Emilia-Romagna. The popular tourist destination Italia in Miniatura presents scale models of Italy’s major natural and architectural landmarks, brought together in surreal proximity. Ghirri photographed this fabricated world with a characteristic sensitivity for visual coincidence and irony, illusion and reality, ambiguity and artifice. Reflecting on photography’s own processes of shrinking and representing, these images are among Ghirri’s most distinctive, playful, and conceptually compelling.

This new book presents the entirety of Ghirri’s In Scala series, expanded with numerous previously unseen images, and places them in conversation with work by the park’s founder and designer, Ivo Rambaldi. Rambaldi’s maps, sketches, collages, and reference images, made on exhaustive research trips across Italy, offer an analogous exploration of the possibilities and paradoxes of miniaturisation. Their frank functionality resonates with Ghirri’s embrace of the perspective and tools of the ama-teur. From the dialogue between these meticulous works of representation and fabrication we discover the possibility that, in Ghirri’s words, ‘Perhaps it’s in this very space, one of total fiction, that truth is concealed’.

This publication is brought together by curators Ilaria Campioli, Joan Fontcuberta, and Matteo Guidi, and includes new essays by the curators and by author Simon Garfield. It is completed by a series of images by photographer and theorist Joan Fontcuberta in response to Ghirri’s and Rambaldi’s encounters with the park.

Embossed paperback
25.3 x 31.5cm, 160 pages

ISBN 978-1-915743-30-5
January 2024
€65 £50 $65

‘The images are full of humour and irony, but they’re also some of his most conceptually complex. More than any other body of work he made, this series distils his preoccupations: it’s Ghirri reduced to his essence.’ The Financial Times

‘During his wanderings, [Ghirri has] immortalized these three-dimensional postcards.’ Le Monde 

‘Revealing the backstory of a fiction and reminding us of the importance of imagination, [this] little gem immediately positions itself as one of the “must-have” books of 2024.’ Il Giornale Dell’Arte

‘Ghirri’s playful images capture the park’s Lilliputian distortions while also exploring the camera’s own ability to shift our sense of scale.’ The Telegraph

‘Ghirri’s photographs offer a touristic perspective of Italy, but unlike [postcards], they also attempt to reveal the fictitious nature of such a perspective, which despite the mimesis at play, offers a decidedly alternative reality.’ Creative Review

‘Within this fascinating place [Ghirri] finds many of the issues that interest him most.’ Skye Arte 

‘[This] unusual theme park [is] seen through the lens of Luigi Ghirri.’ Corriere Della Sera

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