Gabriele Basilico

Gabriele Basilico was one of the greatest photographers on the Italian and international scene.

He trained as an architect and his interest has always gone to the theme of man-made landscapes, especially urban and metropolitan ones.

In the 1980s Basilico dedicated a series of photographs to the port of Genoa – Europe’s largest port – whose complexity, living organism nature, interconnection with the city and its inhabitants, but also with a much wider territorial dimension, clearly fascinated him. «The Port is the form of the city, its language, the reason before any other reason. The Port represents its seven lives that have not yet been consumed. The Port is neither its factory, nor its shop, nor its school, nor its government. The Port is the city, and the city is contained in it» [1].

In the same decade Basilico has also photographed other seas and other ports, including Naples, Barcelona, Bilbao, Antwerp and Rotterdam. «He was not so much interested in the marina as he was in the commercial port, a busy hinterland according to the idea of the city aimed at production», explained Giovanna Calvenzi in the interview with Alessandra Lanza for the magazine Abitare in 2017. «He has always liked the idea of the limit enormously, she said. That point where the city ends, but also where it can start again or move on» [2].

This is precisely what the port, with its infrastructure located between land and sea, is all about.


[1] Gabriele Basilico, Piano, Porto, Città – L’esperienza di Genova, Skira Editore, Milano 1999.
[2] Alessandra Lanza, Calvenzi racconta Basilico, for the magazine Abitare, October 4th 2017.

Visit Project
  • 10 March 2020