BLOW-UP - The exhibition
It is not easy to imagine a world where objects measure few nanometers, i.e. billionths of a meter. A nanometer is approximately the distance occupied by ten hydrogen atoms in a row, or by a small molecule. Such a distance is hardly comparable with the characteristic size of the objects in our world, considering for example that the full stop at the end of this sentence is a million of nanometers wide.

The nanoworld cannot be portrayed with a camera, nor can it be seen even with the most powerful optical microscope. Only special instruments have access to images of the nanoworld and allow the researchers to collect the pictures that form this exhibition. The images are stills that, over time, have been put together from different framings, and that we can look at thanks to the mediation of machines. Some of them represent exceptional events, outstanding results that ended on the cover of scientific journals. Others were born from everyday research. All of them show a landscape that is being unraveled by scientists, scenery that is very different from the one we can see on the media, largely obtained through computer graphics and "artistic" interpretations, when not directly borrowed from science fiction.

We show here the landscapes of the nanoworld. For the first time, we bring to the public images that are usually accessible to few, because they remain confined in the research laboratories, on the scientists' desks. The photographer Lucia Covi is particularly sensitive to the aesthetic paradigms of scientists: her gaze thus grasps essential aspects of the portrayed objects and allows her to shine them with a new light, as they are revealed now.

(versione italiana)