Il cibo immaginario. 1950 - 1970 pubblicità e immagini dell'Italia a tavola (Imaginary Food. 1950 - 1970 publicity and pictures of Italy at the dining table), is an exhibition created by Marco Panella, produced by Artix in collaboration with Coca -Cola Italy, Cremonini Group and Montana, and depicts twenty years of Italian lifestyle and customs by means of iconography, styles and publicity languages related to food and eating habits. For the first time, the more than 300 pictures exhibition, offers the public at large a well thoughtout path to regain a cultural treasure that marks modern Italy. The pictures need to be observed one by one, in order to capture the evolution of the communication paradigms and above all, to observe a suggestive and emotional purpose; a significant visual history which traces the signs of change in an Italy that readily breaks from reconstruction and hits austerity, but that through its food and eating habits, finds a strong media and takes a step towards social emancipation.
The observation point chosen for the narration of the Imaginary Food exhibition is a collection and an aesthetic language of food publicity that has been amusing Italians from magazines pages and newspapers with millions of copies sold per week and has offered readers an extraordinary synthesis between information and favourite popular reading get always; from those pages, the publicity of food was ahead of its time. It highlighted the trends, fuelling an ambitious system and social pursuit and today, a decade later, we are receiving an integral picture of a nation that had confidence in itself and that, even with all its naive traits, was on its way to becoming modern.
The language presentation of Imaginary Food is made up of printed materials that have been saved from decay, found in homes and cellars, at open air markets and through internet art auction sites; poor objects that are at the same time full of a life worthy of being told: magazines, from where ads have been taken, booklets, prize catalogues, home organisers, calendars, posters, postcards, photographs, figurines, comics and to complete the collection, a small tin can selection of promotional items and tools when the word gadget was not yet of everyday use.
The cultural structure of the exhibition has collected pictures and divided them into twelve major themes: Italy that changes its domestic landscape with new forms, from objects and colours to the Italy of the baby boomers, the Italy of leisure to the Italy of the connoisseurs, the Italy that dreams with the sweepstakes to the Italy that discovers savings and special offers, the Italy that seduces to the Italy in the family and finally at the end of this photographic path, 28 pictures that give us a glimpse of how Italy was at the time those promotional messages appeared and that, by means of those messages, how it dreamed its future would be.
From a publicity point of view, twenty years means uprooting a vast iconographic production and an evolution of completely different styles that distinguish the creativity of the illustrators, graphics, and publicity agencies that were able to invent the verbal messages and arouse emotions. Some artists were well-known, others less-known and still others totally unknown but to all these true artists of the imaginary exhibition, nevertheless, the tribute of being able to narrate a little of Italy and the ambition of making people smile is equally recognised.