Photography “Sesso italiano” the photographic project by Martina Dendi and Lorenzo Paci

“Sesso italiano” the photographic project by Martina Dendi and Lorenzo Paci

Giulia Guido
Sesso Italiano Martina Dendi Lorenzo Paci |

Checked tablecloth, spaghetti with sauce, red wine, him in a white tank top and her in a housecoat: this is the Italy of stereotypes, this is the Bel Paese seen by others, this is “Sesso italiano“, the photographic project by Martina Dendi and Lorenzo Paci

Born in 1994, Martina Dendi was born in Livorno and is a photographer who built up her background and knowledge at the LABA in Florence, Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, the Accademia di Brera in Milan and the Moholy-Nagy Művészeti Egyetem in Budapest. Today he lives in Milan and has already produced the photobook Caducità and several exhibitions. 

A year younger, Lorenzo Paci was born in Cecina, where he still works as a barman. Attracted by the world of theatre and the art of acting since he was a teenager, today he continues to participate in productions and short films.

The meeting between Martina and Lorenzo gave birth to “Sesso italiano“, a photographic project that starts from the most common stereotypes linked to Italy and recontextualises them. The images update the clichés that often characterise us abroad (or on which we sometimes make bitter jokes ourselves) and show how they are paradoxical and grotesque in today’s world. 

There are three themes in particular that Martina and Lorenzo question: religion, patriotism and family. These themes are represented through recognisable symbols such as a crucifix around the neck or the national team jersey.

Sesso Italiano Martina Dendi Lorenzo Paci |

The Italy of the roaring ’60s, the economic boom and Fred Bongusto is evoked here, a reality that clashes violently with our generation, touched by the 2008 crisis and Covid.
The climate of suspension of the total, with its plastic, forced poses, is disrupted in detail: thus a catharsis takes place of all the repressed sexuality that that generation had to endure because of the constant presence of taboos in their lives.

Sesso Italiano Martina Dendi Lorenzo Paci |

The moment of the match is the peak of Italian patriotism.
In a very young nation, which has never managed to quell the enmities between neighbouring countries, when ‘Italy plays’ we become the proudest and most cohesive of peoples.
Italy, clad only in its flag, attends the match alongside its fan-lover.
Their complicated relationship only finds peace in this context.

A clear homage to Casa Vianello, we find ourselves in the most intimate moment of the day.
Sourja, the only “daughter” they can afford given their job insecurity, keeps them company.
The disillusionment with the future is catalysed in a perpetual search for stimuli that distracts from the present and weakens every impulse

Once we have finished looking at the photographs in “Sesso italiano“, we cannot help but wonder whether these stereotypes, these clichés that distinguish us and that have characterised us for so long have stood the test of time or whether, adapted to today, they are merely a caricature of a reality that is no longer our own. 

Sesso Italiano Martina Dendi Lorenzo Paci |
Sesso Italiano Martina Dendi Lorenzo Paci |
Written by Giulia Guido
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