Read Culture

Inside the Striking “Letizia Battaglia Senza Fine” Exhibition at the Terme di Caracalla

Setting the work of the well-known Italian photojournalist in the context of historic Roman architecture

Italian photojournalist Letizia Battaglia, who passed away in 2022, is an integral, international figure in photography and beyond. Through her work as a photographer and activist for 50 years, Battaglia documented the lives of everyday people and illustrious personalities, through life and death; she ferociously chronicled Italy and, in particular, Sicily, her region of origin.

The striking new anthological exhibition Letizia Battaglia Senza Fine celebrates her in the spectacular context of Rome’s Terme di Caracalla (aka the Baths of Caracalla). For the occasion, the prestigious archaeological site—directed by Mirella Serlorenzi—has opened new areas and populated them with the black and white photos of Battaglia.

The curator, Paolo Falcone, selected 90 images from her archives and arranged them with power and intention. “On the occasion of the exhibition at the MAXXI Museum in 2016, the photos were suspended from above,” he tells COOL HUNTING on the occasion of the opening, “while now they float thanks to our choice to use glass panels.” In fact, the display of the photos is inspired by a 1968 project by Lina Bo Bardi for the Museo de Arte de São Paulo. Shortly before she died, Battaglia had the opportunity to admire that famous exhibit during a trip to Brazil and was fascinated.

The exhibition aligns perfectly with the distinct spaces of the Terme di Caracalla, where installations by contemporary artists, concerts by international pop singers and a summer opera season much loved by Romans are regularly performed.

As Falcone says, “This new project maintains the tradition of composing a unique work, athematic, timeless and devoid of hierarchies where iconic photographs, travel notes and daily life build an open narrative to know and discover the many aspects of Letizia Battaglia. A constellation of photographs where love and pain, sweetness and drama, passion and commitment tell moments in our history.”

Letizia Battaglia Senza Fine runs now through 5 November at the Terme di Caracalla.

Images courtesy of F. Caricchia for Terme di Caracalla


More stories like this one.