Exhibition: Alberto Melloni (1888-1967) Travel Memories in 3D

Opening: 25.02.2014, 7 pm
Introduction: Gunther Waibl, Alessandro Campaner, Alessandro Melloni
In collaboration with: Archivio provinciale di Bolzano
Exhibition: 26.02. – 05.04.2014

Alberto Melloni – Memorie di viaggio in 3D, Tripoli, 1939

In collaboration with the South Tyrol Provincial Archive, Foto Forum is showing the exhibition “Alberto Melloni (1888-1967) Travel Memories in 3D” with historical photos from the 1920s and 1930s captured by the author on his numerous trips. The stereoscopic photographs from South Tyrol, the Alps, Italy and Europe are presented in the form of anaglyphs.

Alberto Melloni – Reiseerinnerungen in 3D, Neapel, 1939

The Alberto Melloni Photography Collection consists of an archive of more than 3,000 photos taken between 1920 and 1940. In 2012, Melloni’s heirs handed over the collection, depositing it with the South Tyrol Provincial Archive. The plates were cleaned, digitalised and filed in containers suitable for long-term archiving. The anaglyphs of the exhibition arose through careful treatment by his grandson Marco Melloni; some are accessible on the Internet at www.3dmelloni.it.

Alberto Melloni – Memorie di viaggio in 3D, Piz Palù, 1931

Alberto Melloni came from Villafranca Padovana, and by profession was a manager at the Bank Credito Italiano in Milan. Together with his wife and three sons, he undertook holiday trips to popular destinations in Italy and other European countries. En route they always brought along their stereo camera, and Alberto scrupulously tallied the place and time of the photos in a notebook. These travel memories from the twenties and thirties are evidence of his great interest in culture, landscape and mountain climbing.

Alberto Melloni

Besides photos of outings to the countryside or family gatherings, the collection consists primarily of numerous photos of trips to various cities and regions of Europe: highlights include the vanished Berlin from the years between the wars, the windmills in Holland, the Hamburg fleets and the Sagrada familia in Barcelona. An avid mountaineer, Alberto Melloni undertook climbing and glacier trips together with his wife; he carried along the stereo photo equipment along on these – despite its unwieldiness and weight – and captured climbing mountains in photos, e.g., Piz Palü and other Dolomites peaks. After returning from his trips, Melloni shared the impressions he’d recorded with friends and relatives who were able to view these stereo photos using a stereoscope. With the device, only one viewer can look at the photos at a time in their spatial depth and “closeness”, thus retracing the trip.

Alberto Melloni – Reiseerinnerungen in 3D, Holland

Alberto Melloni’s travel memories shown in this exhibition are testimony to an avid amateur who was perhaps not a “great” photographer, but who may well have been a photographer with a great vision: to allow others to participate in the depth and the realism of his memories and to communicate emotions with the help of the third dimension of photography.

Alberto Melloni – Reiseerinnerungen in 3D, Hamburg

On the technique: the stereo camera generates two photos at a distance of the human eyes (ca. 6.5 cm) that differ slightly. Only upon viewing them together through the stereoscope do they look vivid, giving the impression of three-dimensional spatial depth. Today it is possible to print 3D images on paper and experience their three-dimensionality with two-coloured glasses.

Alberto Melloni – Reiseerinnerungen in 3D, Foto Forum, Bolzano/Bozeb (Italy), 2014

Alberto Melloni – Reiseerinnerungen in 3D, Foto Forum, Bolzano/Bozeb (Italy), 2014

Alberto Melloni – Reiseerinnerungen in 3D, Foto Forum, Bolzano/Bozeb (Italy), 2014