Italy and Italians

Viewed through the lens of Magnum photographers


30 March - 24 June 2012 A fine art photography project promoted by Intesa Sanpaolo in the framework of Progetto Cultura for the 150th anniversary since the unification of Italy.

Naples, 29 March 2012. Italy and Italians. Viewed through the lens of Magnum photographers.
Designed to portray contemporary Italy through the lens of famous international photographers, the exhibition ideally unites Italy once again at the opening event of its second lap, which is held in Naples, in the wake of the remarkable success recorded at Palazzo Reale in Turin.

To celebrate 150 years since the unification of Italy, the six-month long photographic mission was entrusted by Intesa Sanpaolo to nine photographers of the leading international photographic agency Magnum: Christopher Anderson, Harry Gruyaert, Mark Power, Mikhael Subotzky, Donovan Wylie, Richard Kalvar, Bruce Gilden, Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin.

With Gianfranco Brunelli and Dario Cimorelli as curators, the project is inspired by the "Grand Tour", the extensive journey through Continental Europe that was a key stage in the education of cultured European society. Particularly the "Italian Journey" to the monuments of ancient Rome, the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and tours of Turin, Venice, Florence, Bologna, Naples and Sicily, in what was deemed as the
cradle of one of the most fascinating artistic heritages in the entire Continent, was considered as an essential educational experience for young Europeans.

Inspired by this ancient and fascinating cultural tradition, the nine leading photographers from the photographic agency Magnum have travelled through Italy to produce a picture story in a modern key, and are handing us a snapshot today. The extensive work has yielded over 400 original photographs, which are exhibited in the prestigious venue of Gallerie d’Italia - Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano, Intesa Sanpaolo's museum in Naples, under the patronage of the Naples City Council.

Italy and Italians is not designed to propose a nostalgic reconstruction of landscapes, perspectives and views that are inexorably lost today but, instead, focuses on portraying the life of current day Italy and Italians, providing food for thought on contemporariness. The exhibition concept also illustrates a country that has always appeared to be a heterogeneous set of multiple elements, a country in which history and contemporariness interweave, coexist and clash, in which tradition is challenged by innovation, urban layouts by new social demands, and the landscape by industry in a continuous sequence of consistency and contradictions, harmony and discordant notes.

The journey stamps in the mind images of natural and artificial landscapes, of places and of people. The narrative unfolds through what can be defined as "memory depots" (towns, cities, squares, libraries) and the ultimate meeting sites, through the relationships and habits of Italians, the present and the 'unfolding', social outcasts and solidarity, research and minds.

The review opens with Christopher Anderson's lens focused on the Sea, which laps against the shores of the peninsula and to which Italy owes both its history and civilisation. Donovan Wylie lingers on the New Walls that define urban confines, modern city boundaries defined by ring roads and viaducts, industrial districts and rubbish dumps, which mark today's totally anthropised living environments. Richard Kalvar's section entitled Together proposes an overview of unifying traits in Italy, namely the common spaces and typical gestures of many Italians, ranging from happy moments with grandparents to mid-August on the beach, from a coffee sipped at the café to the pizza. Mikael Subotzky, instead, investigates the New Squares, the latest venues for socialising, such as shopping arcades and discos, current day substitutes for the heart of
public life in the past: the square. Mark Power's picture story on Memory Depots reviews the beauty of Italy, which holds the world record for artistic heritage and has been declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site through no mere chance. In We, the others Bruce Gilden makes us aware of the lives of the “invisible” people who populate hospital wards, prisons, shanty towns and charity canteens. Harry Gruyaert
focuses on the complex balance of progress and nature sought by modern society in his section entitled Artificial. Alex Majoli recalls Intelligence, the sharp wits that in factories and fields, laboratories and manufacturing facilities alike, merge competence and creative flair, the cornerstones of the "Made in Italy" brand. The story draws to a close with Paolo Pellegrin, whose Portraits of 150 youth represent the country's future.

The exhibition - with free entrance - is organised in the framework of Intesa Sanpaolo's Progetto Cultura for the 150th anniversary since the Unification of Italy. The ambitious multi-year programme includes several events designed and curated by the Bank to highlight Italy's incomparable wealth of cultural and artistic assets. Progetto Cultura's approach to culture results from intense awareness that a leading national bank is called to contribute towards economic growth considered as an intrinsic part of the country's cultural and civil framework.

With Progetto Cultura Intesa Sanpaolo has created the network Gallerie d’Italia, which includes exhibition venues in Naples – where the current exhibition is held, in Vicenza at Palazzo Leoni Montanari, and the latest exhibition space that was opened in Piazza Scala, Milan, last November.

Side Events

Several related educational and cultural events will be proposed with the exhibition Italy and Italians. Viewed from the lens of Magnum photographers.

For the entire duration of the exhibition, free guided tours of the exhibition track will be held on Saturdays and Sundays at 11.00 am. Free educational visits will also be organised for lower and upper secondary schools (for bookings call 00800 16052007 - 081 7811275).

On 20 and 21 April Gallerie di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano will host a conference on the theme The Journey to Naples from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The event will be promoted by Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II with the participation of several Italian and international experts and authors. The conference is ideally linked to the exhibition by the theme of 'The Journey to Naples’, which is mentioned in several written sources and period illustrations, a topic open to multiple developments in various fields that have converged their effort to convey the image of Naples through the centuries: the 1500s when the city was converted into a metropolis by the urbanisation process, the 1700s when it was the target of the "Grand Tour" and, finally, the 1900s when the social and political evil associated with political upheaval, crime, urban renewal, war and the post-war period surfaced.

Additional side events are envisaged and will be publicised through the press, on the dedicated website www.italiaitaliani.comand on the Gallerie d’Italia website of Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano www.palazzozevallos.com.

The exhibition catalogue curated by Gianfranco Brunelli and Dario Cimorelli with texts by Marco A. Bazzocchi, Pippo Ciorra and Flaminio Gualdoni is published by Silvana Editoriale.




Exhibition: Italy and Italians. Viewed through the lens of Magnum photographers
Curators: Gianfranco Brunelli, Dario Cimorelli
Venue: Gallerie d’Italia – Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano, Naples
Duration of the exhibition: 30 March – 24 June 2012
Press conference: Thursday, 29 March, 3.00 pm
Naples, Gallerie d’Italia
Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano
Via Toledo, 185
30 March - 24 June 2012
Opening hours:
Tuesday - Sunday from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Saturday from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm
Closed on Monday
On Saturday, 31 March the exhibition and Gallerie di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano will be open from
02.30 pm. On Sunday, 8 April (Easter) from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Monday, 9 April, from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Free entrance
Free guided tours
Saturday and Sunday at 11.00 am
For bookings, call 00800 16052007 - 081 7811275 during the opening hours of the Gallerie. Bookings will
be accepted until the total established number of visitors per tour is reached.
Special offer for schools
Free guided tours for lower and upper secondary schools.
For bookings, call 00800 16052007 - 081 7811275 during the opening hours of the Gallerie. Bookings will
be accepted until the total established number of visitors per tour is reached.
Admission to the exhibition track on the first floor of Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano - where the Martyrdom of St.
Orsola by Caravaggio is exhibited - requires a ticket: full price € 4.00 - reduced rate € 3.00. Free
During the exhibition a 10% discount will be applied at the Gallerie d’Italia Bookshop - Palazzo
Zevallos Stigliano. Intesa Sanpaolo Group current account holders and employees will be
entitled to a 20% discount.
Catalogue: Silvana Editoriale
Information: www.italiaitaliani.com - www.palazzozevallos.com
For high-definition images, see the CD in the press folder or contact the press offices.

Press contact:
Antonella Zivillica,
Manager, Media Public Finance/Social and Cultural Affairs Department
Tel. 06 67125312; stampa@intesasanpaolo.com
Novella Mirri and Maria Bonmassar
Tel. 06 32652596; 335 6077971; 335 490311; ufficiostampa@novellamirri.it