Amore E Piombo: The Photography of Extremes in 1970’s Italy

Brighton Photo Biennial 2014

Enter a tumultuous era with this unparalleled collection of photographs made by a group of photographers working for the Rome-based agency Team Editorial Services.

The press photographers constantly shifted between battling film stars at play and the reality of near civil war unfolding on the streets. Politics and celebrity are brought together through the paparazzi style of alto contrasto, collusion and intrusion. Alluded to, although less visible, are the murkier dealings of clandestine groups linked to the Italian Secret Services, The P2 Masonic Lodge the CIA and NATO, operating against the backdrop of the extremes of the Red and Black Brigades. Archive prints are presented alongside television news footage, film sequences and sound recordings. A choice of Italian photo-books of the period, loaned from the Martin Parr collection, add a further layer of reference.

Forty years on and Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ are still shrouded in mystery. Despite countless attempts to unravel the political confusion of the times, key tragic events, from the Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan in 1969, to Aldo Moro’s 1978 kidnap and assassination by the Red Brigades, remain unresolved.

Instead of offering answers, Amore e Piombo (Love and Lead) presents for scrutiny the press photography of this most turbulent and tangled decade.

Amore E Piombo: The Photography of Extremes in 1970’s Italy at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton BN1 1EE. 4th October-2nd November 2014.

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