The photomontage or photo-mosaique Adunate! was realised for the Sala O of the exhibition of the Fascist revolution in 1932, held at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, by Giuseppe Terragni. In the Mostra della Rivoluzione, photography was a key element of the room settings: there were not only portraits but also wall-size photos, photomontages and photo-mosaique, called also photomurals. Photography was therefore an integral part of the architecture of the Mostra as well as of its layout and design. There were 19 rooms, each marked by letters of the alphabet and distributed chronologically on the ground floor and 5 on the first floor marked with a number. In every room, there were tridimentional sculptures, flags, statues and paraphernalia to illustrate the glory of the Fascist revolution. The Sala O did celebrate the year 1922 (from January to October) as foundational for the establishment of a new fascist order in Italy. The technique of photo-mosaique was used to render the collective spirit of the Fascist revolution.
The Sacralisation of the New Man’s Total Politics through the Arts
Shaping the New Man’s Reality by Fashioning National Myths
Monumentalism: Visualising Subjectivity and Objectivity
The 10 meters long photomural Adunate! depicted mass gatherings, three gigantic propellers, an almost indistinguishable mass of hands performing the roman salute which collectively pay tribute to the regime and to its revolution. At the centre of the photomural, we see a quote from Mussolini who gives his blessing to those who have fought for the revolution. The images assembled shots at various levels: medium and long shots are grouped together while eliminating any gap in between them to show the fast pacing of the events. Collectivity and the creation of a new Man were the pillars of this revolution, which had erased liberalism and its individualism. Liberalism had to be replaced by a new political order and the exhibition primary aim was therefore that of creating and revealing such foundational myths. The Sala O represented the foundational myth of the revolution in 1922, and the events which led to the march on Rome, such as the egalitarian strike, the fire to the 'Avanti' newspaper, and the occupation of Palazzo Marino in Milan and Palazzo San Giorgio in Genoa. This particular photomontage encapsulated the new relationship the regime wanted to establish between subjectivity and objectivity: these two spheres could not be understood as separate moments but as intersecting ones. Such intersections could be clearly made visible by their monumental parade throughout all the sale (rooms) of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni.
Alfieri, Dino and Luigi Freddi. 1982. Partito Nazionale Fascista. Mostra della Rivoluzione Fascista. Milan: Industrie Grafiche Italiane.
Fioravanti, Gigliola. 1990. Inventario. Partito Nazionale Fascista. Mostra della Rivoluzione Fascista. Rome: Archivio Centrale dello Stato.
Ghirardo, Diane. 1992. 'Architects, Exhibitions, and the Politics of Culture in Fascist Italy.' Journal of Architectural Education 45 (2 ): 67-75.