• Antonio Di Cecco


Photography and Catastrophe

Following the earthquakes in L’Aquila (2009), in Emilia (2012) and in Central Italy (2016/2017) the KHI decided to get involved in cooperative projects dealing with the past and present of natural disasters in the Italian peninsula. These projects include collaboration with the photographer Antonio Di Cecco from L’Aquila, who has intensively dedicated himself in his work to the exploration of post-catastrophic scenarios. In this context, he conducted a search in the holdings of the Institute’s Photo Library, and made a selection of historic photos. Its essential concept is to explore the various levels of representation and sedimentation of natural disasters. By illustrating the transformations of landscapes and townscapes they have most recently caused, it thus tries to show the radical changes to places and settlement patterns, as well as the destruction of historic monuments and building fabric.

The shape of the places

What did L'Aquila become in 2019? The photographs of the series "The shape of the Places" [January 2019 / in progress] explore the current image of L’Aquila as a synthesis of transformations and choices made in the process of (re) construction after the 2009 earthquake. Perhaps it will become a new city, for new citizens, but today - in 2019 - it is a complex place with continuous changes in its form, with changes in social spaces, with lights and voices that slowly begin to alternate with the noises of the construction sites. What can a person find, when he decides to cross the historic centre of L'Aquila for a simple walk? It is difficult to contextualize streets and squares of the city, just as it is often difficult to cross and use them. The redevelopment of places, which for years have been a deposit of materials and objects, is still far from the idea of a public usable space.


Antonio Di Cecco was born in 1978 in L’Aquila, where he currently lives and works.
It develops projects on places modification processes and on the relationship between man, environment and time, as well as dealing with architecture and landscape photography. Since 2021 he has been a teacher of documentary photography at the Academy of Fine Arts of L’Aquila.
Since 2018, he has been involved in the SEISMIC APENNINES CULTURAL LANDSCAPE project at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence – Max Planck Institut, continuing the research started within the research group L’AQUILA AS A POST-CATASTROPHIC CITY, about the post-disaster landscape representation with particular attention to temporary living forms.
For the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, he created the online exhibition so called “PHOTOGRAPHY AND CATASTROPHES. ANTONIO DI CECCO IN DIALOGUE WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHIC FILES COLLECTIONS”, which was curated by Carmen Belmonte, Elisabetta Scirocco and Gerhard Wolf. In December 2018, the images became part of the photographic files archive.
His LANDSCAPE SHAPES project, produced with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute of Hamburg and the National Tourism Agency, was exhibited in 2018 at the Italian Cultural Institutes of Hamburg, Munich and Lyon.
During April 2016 he participated in the UP! MARGHERA ON STAGE for the Venice Pavilion, XV Architecture Biennale.
During May 2015, the images of the project called “FULL EMPTY. A LOOK AT THE TERRITORY OF L’AQUILA” became part of the archive of the Central Institute for Catalogue and Documentation.
During April 2013, he published the volume IN FULL EMPTY. A LOOK AT THE TERRITORY OF L’AQUILA [Peliti Associati], edited by Benedetta Cestelli Guidi, with texts by Laura Moro, the director of the Central Institute for Catalogue and Documentation.

L’Aquila, Italy

More info


History of art and catastrophes. Marsilio Editori. 2019
In full emptiness. Peliti Associati. 2013

Exhibitions & Screenings

2019. Forme di paesaggio. Italian Cultural Institute of Lyon
2018. Forme di paesaggio. Italian Cultural Institute of Hamburg
2018. Forme di paesaggio. Italian Cultural Institute of Munich
2018. Fotografia e catastrofe. Antonio Di Cecco in dialogo con le collezioni della fototeca. Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz
2011. Controspazio. La terra negata allidentità. FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma, X edition
2011. Controspazio. La terra negata allidentità. Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione. Rome, Italy
2010. Junkspace. Uno sguardo sul territorio aquilano. FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma, IX edition
2010. LAquila. Città temporanea. ReportageAtriFestival. Atri, Italy