Author(s): Chrsitin Muller
Under Mussolini planned model settlements called borghi were constructed throughout Italy to implement fascist agrarian reforms. Particularly in Sicily many of these structures still stand empty. In her visually pared-down series Borgo, Johanna Diehl (* 1977) uses a large-format camera to document over twenty of these utopian settlements, portraying them as ghostly theater sets, with buildings designated for party gatherings and triumphal arches. In her subsequent series Romanità she examines the materials and imagery of public buildings in Rome from this period. Marble and martially intoned frescos illustrate the fascist historical lineage as dating back to ancient Rome—an aesthetic still dominating the atmosphere of ministries and congress halls in the capital. In Alleanza the photographer finds architectural records of the unholy alliance between church and state in the years of the dictatorship, as expressed in the lofty, formal language of churches constructed at this time.