Gallerie d’Italia Turin
Intesa Sanpaolo’s museum in Turin
Public performance: Tuesday 7 February 2023
Curator: Arturo Galansino
Exhibition: 9 February – 16 July 2023
Staircase Palazzo Turinetti
Piazza San Carlo, 156, 10121 Torino TO, Italien
DÉPLACÉ·E·S, Thierry, Mugombwa, 2022 © JR
Gallerie d’Italia presents the first solo exhibition of JR in Intesa Sanpaolo’s museum in Turin, from February 9 to July 16, 2023.
JR (1983) is a world-renowned artist who combines diverse and expressive languages, such as photography, public art and social commitment, in his projects. For Intesa Sanpaolo’s exhibition, JR will bring his personal touch to recounting reality and stimulating reflections on social fragility. The exhibition which occupies close to 4,000 square meters of the museum in Piazza San Carlo, is presented in collaboration with the Compagnia di San Paolo and curated by Arturo Galansino. For DÉPLACÉ·E·S, JR will involve various local entities with the aim of building more inclusive societies.
Michele Coppola, Intesa Sanpaolo’s Executive Director of Art, Culture and Historic Heritage and Director of the Gallerie d’Italia, comments: “We are presenting in Turin, for the first time in an Italian museum, the work of one of the most original international artists who is also attentive to the great social changes. The project, which combines street art, photography and video installations, confirms the aim of the Gallerie d’Italia in Turin to stimulate reflection on today’s complexities, in line with Intesa Sanpaolo’s commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth”.
JR explains: “In 2022, the number of individuals forced to flee their place of residence because of persecutions, wars, violence and human rights violations has exceeded the ominous threshold of 100 million. This emergency is now compounded by food and energy shortages, inflation and climate-related crises. In many countries of Africa, the Middle East, South America, at the gates of Europe, populations are being forced to abandon their homes to ensure their survival elsewhere. The war in Ukraine has prompted the most abrupt and one of the largest forced exiles since World War II. A symbol of this endless tragedy, the Greek island of Lesbos is the scene of the ebb and flow of migrants arriving by sea as the conflicts develop. This geography of forced relocation constitutes ‘off-limit locations’ that are given excess media attention and are invisible at the same time.”
Las Delicias, Colombia, 2022, ©JR
Valeriia, Thierry, Andiara, Angel, Jamal, Ajara, Moise and Mozhda are the names and faces of the children who embody these forced migrations. By enlarging their portrait on huge banners, JR gives back an identity to those who are deprived of it. Their effigy unfolds in a fleeting and spontaneous manner during collective processions as well as performances organised in the heart of their transitory environment: on the Opera Square in Lviv (Ukraine), in the camps of Mugombwa (Rwanda), Mbera (Mauritania), Lesbos (Greece), in the host community of Cúcuta (Colombia). They are from Ukraine, Congo, Venezuela, Mali, Afghanistan but the same posture unites them. The body is moving forward as if winning a race, with the rebellious smile and a youthful aura: their life force braves the worst pangs of exile. To those who rationalise dehumanisation, JR proposes a sensitive experience from a child’s perspective. Far from stereotypes, the human condition is fully revealed through the hope personified by youth. These children look at us by establishing a relationship of reciprocity between them, us and the future.
JR continues: “The camps are not just places of daily life for millions of people, they have become one of the major components of globalisation, one of the forms of organisation in the world: a way to treat those who are unwanted, what we don’t want to look in the eye. In the service of something greater, my art creates tension between the visible and the invisible to resist the trivialisation of perspectives. Ten years ago, the anthropologist Michel Agier deplored the lack of importance of the status of refugees and displaced persons – which forever seals their exclusion from society. He stated, ‘Hannah Arendt called this exclusion of refugees a social death. I think it is urgent to make the fields known, all types of fields.’ Such is the objective of this exhibition”, concludes the artist.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2022, ©JR
Since leaving his Parisian banlieue more than twenty years ago, JR has taken his art all over the world with monumental works of public art that engage vast numbers of people and inspire whole communities, from the Brazilian favelas to a maximum security prison in California, from the Louvre Pyramid to the Egyptian pyramids, from the border between Israel and Palestine to the Mexico border with the United States.
Déplacé.e.s, Jamal, Mauritania, 2022
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