The night of November 2nd, 1975 Pier Paolo Pasolini was murdered in Ostia. The news shocked the whole world and thousands of intellectuals, friends, ordinary people gave their final farewell to the great and tragically deceased poet.
Forty years later, an exhibition titled “La vera Italia? Due inchieste di Pier Paolo Pasolini” at the Fondazione Forma Meravigli in Milano, celebrates the genius of the poet.
Two are the surveys on which Alessandra Mauro, curator of the exhibition, has focused her interest: La lunga strada di sabbia and Comizi d’amore realized by Pasolini between the ’50s and early’ 60s. Two trips, made from the North to the South of Italy, through which the writer has outlined a clear picture of the changes taking place in Italian society, investigating customs and taboos of the Bel Paese, with that sarcastic and critical tone which always characterized his personality and writing. La lunga strada di sabbia is a reportage made in the summer of 1959, published in three special issues in the magazine Successo. The writer, with the help of photographer Paolo di Paolo, made a journey along the Italian coast, from Liguria to Sicily on a Fiat Millecento to tell the tale of Italy’s economic boom, the trendy clubs and beach holidays, becoming metaphor of a newfound wealth after the tragic years of the postwar reconstruction.
A few years later, in 1963, Pasolini made a new journey to realize the documentary Comizi d’amore. Armed with a camera, he went through all of Italy to interview women, men and children, bourgeois and proletarian, thus giving an endless parade of faces of “helpless people” intermingled with voices of prestigious intellectuals. The investigation turns around a taboo-topic, sexuality, told through a chorus of dissonant voices which oppose to a series of general questions an innocent “No Comment”. Pasolini shows an Italy divided between “conformism and ignorance”, retrograde compared to the international situation, which soon would have seen the‘68 sexual revolution.
The exhibition is a symphony of alternating photographs taken by Angelo Novi and Mario Dondero during Comizi d’amore and those belonging to the photographic project of 2001 by French photographer Philippe Séclier who followed the road traveled by Pasolini in La lunga strada di sabbia, discovering traces and memories of a distant past. All proves once again how important and contemporary are Pasolini’s investigations and works, because as Alberto Moravia said in his funeral oration, “we lost first and foremost a poet. And there are not many poets in the world, only three or four in a century.” The exhibition organized by the Fondazione Forma Meravigli in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, is accompanied by books La lunga strada di sabbia and Comizi d’amore published by Contrasto, and for the duration of the exhibition it will also be possible to view the short film Pier Paolo Pasolini. Appunti per un critofilm (1966) by Maurizio Ponzi.