Every year, between July and September, Palazzo Tadea hosts “Spilimbergo Fotografia” (Spilimbergo Photography), an important photography exhibition organised by CRAF (Research and Archiving Centre of Photography).
The photography project is organised by ISES (the Institute for the Economic Development of Spilimbergo). ISES was founded on 10 June 1987. Together with the municipal administration of the time, it promoted the enhancement of the existing cultural heritage as a driver for the recovery of a strong local identity. To do so, it used the rich artistic legacy of the GFNF (Friulian Group for New Photography), which was formed in Spilimbergo in the Fifties and was made up by Aldo Beltrame, Carlo Bevilacqua, Gianni and Giuliano Borghesan, Toni del Tin, Fulvio Roiter, and Italo Zannier. On 1 December 1955, GFNF published Italy’s first and only neorealist photography manifesto. Over the following years, Nino Migliori, Luciano Ferri, Gianni Berengo Gardin, and Bepi Bruno also joined the Group. GFNF’s neorealist experience triggered the creation of Friuli Fotografia, which in 1989 became Spilimbergo Fotografia, CRAF’s main exhibition. During the first few years, between 1987 and 1993, the many conferences, workshops, and post-diploma courses helped consolidate the link between Spilimbergo and Photography, creating a true art laboratory. The main goal was to recreate an “Italian Arles” in Spilimbergo, i.e. a place entirely dedicated to photography and the annual event par excellence for photographers and operators, just like in the French city. CRAF was officially established on 13 July 1993, obtaining recognition as a photography archive and documentation centre from the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region.
CRAF has produced over 200 exhibitions since 1994. Here is a list of the main ones: Tredici fotografi in un itinerario di Pasolini (Thirteen photographers on Pasolini’s itinerary), Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island; Itami in Japan, Buenos Aires and Halle, Germany; Italian Films by John Phillips, Burgrave House, Prague Castle; La Pasion sacrificada (The sacrificed passion) by Paolo Gasparini, Paris, Thessaloniki, and Valencia. Also worth mentioning, Italia 1946-2006. Dalla Ricostruzione al Nuovo Millennio (Italy 1946-2006. From reconstruction to the new millennium), which toured to Russia’s main museums; La Fotografia del Novecento in Friuli e nella Venezia Giulia (20th-century photography in Friuli Venezia Giulia), which toured to Ljubljana, Koper, Udine, and Klagenfurt. Other exhibitions include Neorealismo in Fotografia (Neorealism in photography), Columbus Centre, Toronto and the New York Film Academy, New York; Il Paesaggio italiano in Fotografia (The Italian landscape in photography) hosted in Russia during the celebrations dedicated to Italian culture.
Among the works on display there was also Friuli Venezia Giulia Photography, launched in 1987, with the collaboration of museums, galleries, and individual photographers linked to the Centre.