Déplacé·e·s by artist JR: the project at Gallerie d'Italia Turin

Déplacé·e·s, the first Italian personal exhibition by JR, the French artist famous all over the world for his projects that combine photography, public art and social engagement, made its debut at Gallerie d'Italia Turin, the Intesa Sanpaolo museum.

JR began work on the project in 2022 with a series of trips to crisis zones, from war-torn Ukraine to the refugee camps of Mugombwa, in Rwanda, and Mbera, in Mauritania, through to Cúcuta in Colombia and Lesbo in Greece, to reflect on the difficult conditions faced by thousands of people because of conflicts, war, famine and climate change.

As a preface to the opening of the exhibition, Turinese lived a travelling event in their city that involved hundreds of people. This performance, carefully overseen by the artist, saw five large vinyl tarps transported along the streets of Turin. The tarps depicted images of children JR met during his trips to the refugee camps, including little Valeriia, who has become the artist's most famous subject.

Ph. Andrea Guermani

Little Valeriia, symbol of Ukrainian resilience

A year ago JR travelled to Lviv, in Ukraine, and in front of the opera house, in one of the city’s most important squares, unfurled a gigantic tarp of a smiling girl. At just 5 years of age, Valeriia, of Kryvyi Rih, finished up on the cover of Time magazine, instantly becoming the symbol of the country's resilience to the Russian invasion and the bombardment of its civilians.

The Turin event, overseen by the artist, will see 500 young people arrive in Piazza San Carlo carrying five large tarps depicting the "subjects" of the exhibition, three of which will be brought into the exhibition rooms and displayed; the shots taken aerially by drones will show these gigantic images of children. 

JR: French artist known for his public art

Ph. Andrea Guermani

JR started out in the banlieues of Paris more than twenty years ago and has taken his art all over the world with giant public art installations that are able to interact with large numbers of people and engage entire communities, from the Brazilian favelas to a maximum security jail in California, from the Pyramid of the Louvre to the Egyptian pyramids, from the border between Israel and Palestine to that between Mexico and the United States.


The exhibition, which will be open to the public from 9 February to 16 July, begins at the museum entrance with the staircase transformed into a trompe l’œil with an anamorphic image, an optical illusion with which visitors will be encouraged to interact.
It continues in the underground rooms where, thanks to a series of videos, photographs, wooden sculptures and the striking display of large tarps, visitors will be able to retrace and immerse themselves in the work and the trips that enabled the Parisian artist to contemplate one of the most important issues of our time. Product of the meetings and public art activities undertaken by JR, the works conclude in the Sala Immersiva where a video installation specially created for the occasion plots the "trips" of the large tarps in other parts of the world which, in this project, represent the common theme of the narrative.

Intesa Sanpaolo’s commitment to culture and social issues

With this initiative Intesa Sanpaolo reaffirms its commitment to culture, a pledge which led to the creation of the Gallerie d'Italia museum complex whose four sites in the city centres of Milan, Turin, Naples and Vicenza are now exhibition spaces for the bank’s important collections of art and art projects. The bank focuses close attention on ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) issues, as evidenced by its pledge in the 2022-2025 Business Plan to allocate around 115 billion euro to the community and the green transition and around 500 million euro to support people in need.