MIA – MILAN IMAGE ART FAIREVENTS
THE VERY SUCCESSFUL EXHIBITION “THE DAREDEVILS OF THE DIRTY ROADS” PRESENTED BY EBERHARD & CO. AT MIA PHOTO FAIR.
Eberhard & Co. presented, at the prestigious MIA Fair event, an unprecedented adaptation of the “THE DAREDEVILS OF THE DIRTY ROADS. Nuvolari, Varzi, Campari and other Heroes of the Cuneo – Maddalena Pass Race ” exhibition, curated by Giosuè Boetto Cohen.
After the acclaim of the first stage of the 2020 exhibition at San Francesco Monumental Complex in Cuneo, as well as of the second stage, in 2021, at MAUTO in Turin, Eberhard & Co. wanted to provide further emphasis, against the backdrop of the city of Milan, to this important project, which allows for the dissemination within the general public of part of an archive comprehensive of some 40,000 plates and films shot by the Piedmontese photographer Adriano Scoffone (1891-1980), in addition to its digitisation resulting in a database available online.
Through a selection of some 20 images, the exhibition path was focused on the Cuneo – Maddalena pass race of 1925, ‘26, ‘27 and 1930. A race which started in 1925 and was part of the “Italian Automotive Championship – Racing and European Mountain Sport”. Due to its difficulty and length, it went down in history as one of the most reckless of the time.
The shots focus on the drivers, endowed with incredible audacity, who managed to offer unthinkable performances, alongside the white and dusty roads of Piedmont, playing host to the competition. A very different world, portrayed by Adriano Scoffone right from the heart of the race: the most “tactical” points of the track, but also the start, the large crowds to the sides and, of course, the champions’ parade: from Varzi to Campari, from Stuck to Caracciola. He managed to capture spectacular counter-steering, escapes along the straight sections and the dusty skidding before the hairpin bends.
Throughout the entire series, the main character portrayed is Tazio Nuvolari: the “flying Mantovan”, who took part in the fourth race (1930), triumphing on his Alfa Romeo P2, racing at the incredible average speed of 103.771 km/h.
Eberhard & Co. has a very close connection with both the fascinating world of speed and Nuvolari, who used to own an Eberhard & Co. pocket watch from the 1930s complete with alarm function, of which only the case was found. This historic bond got strengthened once again in 1992, the year in which the brand dedicated a special collection to his name and became Official Timer and Partner of the Nuvolari Grand Prix.
“We strongly wanted to have a display at MIA Photo Fair of a selection of shots of the DAREDEVILS OF THE DIRTY ROADS exhibition, because it’s a project which perfectly shows the great support offered by Eberhard & Co. to initiatives of high cultural significance, aimed at rediscovering a heritage which is still not very well known. Indeed, the Maison has supported not only the exhibition, but also the digitization work of Archivio Scoffone, as well as its dissemination through an online database.
Thus, the exhibition perfectly fitted with the setting of MIA Photo Fair, which was, for us, the perfect stage. There, in 2013, we started our contribution to special projects aimed at the defence and appreciation of Italian photographic archives: we have sponsored the establishment of the award “Time rediscovered – Photographs not to be missed” aimed at the preservation, cataloguing and use of the iconographic heritage of authors’ private archives, and subsequently we promoted the initiative “Premio Archivi Aperti (Open Archives Award)” in order to bring to light and preserve images which are symbolic of our history, based on the inventory and digitization work of the winning archive – says Mario Peserico, Eberhard & Co. Managing Director.
“Instrumental to our decision to bring Scoffone’s photographs to MIA Photo Fair was also the presence of photographs of Tazio Nuvolari. Indeed, this year marks the 130th anniversary of his birth, an occasion of great importance for us, allowing us to celebrate once again his figure as undisputed champion through dedicated initiatives and a new product which, later in the year, will further enhance the Nuvolari collection” – states Mario Peserico.
“Roads for carts and wagons, roads for flocks and herds, for people going on foot or, if the road is flat, by bicycle. Certainly, not roads suitable for driving in a car. These are the dirty roads, the Italian road network in 1925, when Adriano Scoffone shot his first car race, the “Cuneo – Maddalena pass”. That’s when races also became
instrumental for the debate on road development, and therefore, industrial development, taking on the world. Practical topics, perfect for propaganda, dipped in large crowds and sportsmanship.” – adds the curator of the exhibition Giosuè Boetto Cohen.
Eberhard & Co. has been partner for the ninth year of MIA Photo Fair, an international exhibition dedicated to art photography now in its eleventh year, conceived and directed by Fabio and Lorenza Castelli, within the exhibition area of SUPERSTUDIO MAXI in Milan.