Il deserto rosso now - Photographic Reactions to Antonioni’s Classic Film

A German-Italian exhibition project | September 1, 2017 – January 28, 2018

Guido Guidi: Millenovecentonovanta-duemilasei, 1990–2006 (01), © Guido Guidi

Participating artists: Fabrizio Albertini, Mariano Andreani, Daniele Ansidei, Daniel Augschöll/Anya Jasbar, Enrico Benvenuti, Joachim Brohm, Christoph Brückner, Luca Capuano, Danny Degner/Vera König, Eva Dittrich/Katarína Dubovská, Alessandra Dragoni, Johannes Ernst, Marcello Galvani, João Grama, William Guerrieri, Guido Guidi, Gerry Johansson, Sophia Kesting, Philipp Kurzhals, Dana Lorenz/Jakob Argauer, Allegra Martin, Mako Mizobuchi, Francesco Neri, Andrea Pertoldeo, Sabrina Ragucci/Giorgio Falco, Alexander Rosenkranz, Valentina Seidel, Anna Voswinckel, Jakob Wierzba, Xiaoxiao Xu.

A project by Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur in collaboration with the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Linea di Confine, Rubiera, and Osservatorio Fotografico, Ravenna

Philipp Kurzhals: Ravenna revisited, 2016, © Philipp Kurzhals

Works by more than thirty artists are being presented within the scope of this German-Italian project that examine the influential film Il deserto rosso (1964) by Michelangelo Antonioni (1912–2007). Internationally, the director counts among the filmmakers whose influential bodies of work are highly admired by artists and photographers. Il deserto rosso (Red Desert), which was shot in the industrial region around Ravenna and whose innovative coloration is particularly striking, provides a wide variety of artistic stimuli, especially for a photographic examination.

The artists participating in the Il deserto rosso now project are associated with the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig (the classes taught by Prof. Joachim Brohm and Anna Voswinckel) as well as with the photography initiatives Linea di Confine in Rubiera und Osservatorio Fotografico in Ravenna. In 2013, the first participants set out in search of traces in the northern Italian landscape around Ravenna, which continues to be characterized by industrial sites, for the purpose of visiting Antonioni’s former locations, not only in a concrete respect but under atmospheric circumstances as well.

Mako Mizobuchi: Farbige Gefühle, 2016 © Mako Mizobuchi, 2017

The industrial backdrop in the film is the visual soundtrack, so to speak, accompanying the emotional, melancholy moods of the protagonists, in particular the young married woman Giuliana. Sounding out the psychogram of Giuliana and creating contemporary images that lend expression to her fears, her loneliness, and her sense of loss in the modern world and furthermore translate it into a universal language are threads that take effect in the photographic series and film contributions in the exhibition.

Il deserto rosso was the first film Antonioni made in which he discovered color as a multilayered aesthetic element. Thus the series currently on display repeatedly reflect on coloration as an artistic, corresponding, and symbolic visual material up to the point that it becomes absolute in the form of an image.

In the accompanying program the film "Il deserto rosso" will be shown in the cinema "Filmpalette". In addition, there is a guided tour with the renowned film critic Daniel Kothenschulte.

A Look at the Collection: Francesco NeriTrophy and Treasure

September 1 - October 17 and November 9, 2017 - January 28, 2018 in Room 2

More information about this exhibition


Duane Michals

October 21–November 5, 2017, in Room 2

On the occasion of the DGPh's cultural award ceremony on 21 October, the Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung presents cultural works by the American artist. In collaboration with the Clara Maria Sels Gallery, Düsseldorf, the KOLUMBA Kunstmuseum of the Archdiocese of Cologne, the Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg and the city of Duisburg.


Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Im Mediapark 7, 50670 Cologne, tel.: 0221/888 95 300, e-mail: photographie( at ),

The exhibitions are open daily from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. except Wednesdays
Closed on November 1 (All Saint’s Day), December 24–27 and 31, and January 1, 2018.

Admission: €5.50 (reduced: €3.00), free admission the first Monday of every month!

Combination ticket with the Dance Museum of the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln: €7.00 (reduced: €4.00)

Regular guided tours every Sunday at 3:00 p.m., price: regular admission + €2.00 for the tour

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