The Germany of the 1960s in the photographic works of René Burri
Inauguration of exhibition of photographs
introduction by Giancarlo Pauletto and Marina Sparavier
with the participation of René Burri

René Burri was born in Zurich in 1933 and is a world-famous Swiss photographer.
As a member of Magnum Photos, between 1957 and 1964 he produced his epoch-making photo feature “The Germans”, with text and poetry by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. The feature was published initially in Switzerland and France, and not until 1990 in Germany. Now a considerable portion of his reportage is on show in Pordenone at the Sagittaria Gallery as part of the Dedica festival. The images shown in the exhibition are hugely significant, since they portray the day-to-day life of a divided nation during the Cold War. It appears that Burri’s intention was to capture the exact instant: children waving at an American tank, two blind people walking along the sidewalk, a couple of lovers on the dodgem cars, another couple eating an ice cream, a man smoking in the street, and many others.
But his sharply-defined construction, his careful attention to plays of light, the presence of a perfect structural form, clearly express his desire to create precise icons of an era, a historical moment which, by natural association, turns the thoughts of the spectator to a reality that is without doubt just as problematical.


The exhibition is promoted by the Municipality of Pordenone and by the Thesis Cultural Association, with the collaboration of the Centre for Cultural Initiatives in PordenoneContrasto and Magnum Photos.


René Burri
born in Zurich in 1933, is considered to be one of the world’s greatest living photographers. After finishing art school, he started to work in the world of cinema, producing a number of documentaries. But he later decided to direct his efforts exclusively to photography. In 1955 he started working at the Magnum Photos agency, where he presented his feature on the problems facing deaf-and-dumb children. The work was received extremely positively, and was published in the prestigious magazine “Life” and in a number of other major European magazines. In 1959 he became a director of Magnum Photos, and in 1982 was appointed the company’s chairman. During the course of his long career, Burri produced important photo features and many famous portraits. His photographs are exhibited in most of the world’s most important museums and galleries. He has also published numerous books and received many awards; in 1999, he was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France.


Giancarlo Pauletto
art historian and critic, has written numerous publications, and collaborates in the visual arts sector of the Centre for Cultural Initiatives in Pordenone. He has edited and coordinated exhibitions, catalogues and monographs for the Civic Museum in Pordenone and for numerous other public organizations.


Marina Sparavier
is a German language teacher, translator and interpreter. An enthusiastic photographer, she has organized numerous training projects for teachers. In addition, she has worked with the Municipality of Pordenone and with a number of local cultural associations, including IRSE –  Centre for Cultural Initiatives in Pordenone.

Saturday 20 March, 17:30

Sagittaria Art Gallery

Pordenone - Via Concordia, 7