Big champions tiny scale
arturo delle donne
A tribute to the great champions and the major competitions, from 1956 to the present day.
Cortina, 1956, the first Winter Olympics to be held in Italy. That was the starting point for Arturo Delle
Donne’s project—the reconstruction of a sporting tradition on a tiny scale. Delle Donne selected some
pictures and video frames from the winter of 1956 and wove a narrative blurring the line between real
Because even though it is true that Delle Donne’s ‘Cortina – Big Champions, Tiny scale’ project started
from a careful selection of vintage pictures and videos, his work alters the visual perception of the
original material through a small-scale reconstruction of these images.
Scenery, miniatures, ski slopes and icy tunnels—a craftwork that turns the image into a three-
dimensional object. This is all done preparatory to taking pictures. Everything returns to being an
image, a photograph, an illusion.
This modus operandi has often characterised and still characterises Arturo Delle Donne’s work, a vision
of photography that departs from the facts.
The event is the memory of the event itself. The creation of the myth, or its recreation, has been
planned in detail to build a stage set that can preserve the wonder of something that perhaps
OSSERVATORIO cortina 2021
A new image of the Queen of the Dolomites.
Cortina d’Ampezzo is often associated with glamour and the jet set.
This universe of symbols and images sometimes conforms to the expectations of many tourists, rather
than providing great spurs and alternative ideas. Is it possible to provide a new image of the Queen of
the Dolomites that devotes more attention to the landscape and to sustainable, responsible tourism?
This is precisely the challenge that Osservatorio Cortina 2021 took up, a photography project which
aims to explore the local area on the road to the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The two
photographers Marina Caneve and Gianpaolo Arena straddle the fine line between documentation
and fiction and manage to create a new image of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
The aim of this project, which is a valuable ‘source of images’ for the Cortina of the future, is not only to
start documenting the mountain environment accurately, but also to foster the culture of sport and a
new appreciation of the sites through a dialogue between aesthetic and advertising, nature and
photography, in the belief that new opportunities for public debates may arise from these relations.
There are seven topic areas in addition to the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships: infrastructure,
ski lifts, mountains in summer, mountains in winter, past champions, the mountain and its countless