At the Gallerie d'Italia in Turin, Italy, the first Italian solo exhibition in a museum by JR

Turin's Gallerie d'Italia is hosting Déplacé∙e∙s, JR's first solo exhibition in a museum in Italy, from February 9 to July 16, 2023.

From Feb. 9 to July 16, 2023, Gallerie d’Italia’s Turin branch will host Déplacé∙e∙s, the first solo exhibition in Italy in a museum by JR, a French artist famous for his projects that combine photography, public art and social engagement. The exhibition is curated by Arturo Galansino and is realized in collaboration with the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation.

Combining different expressive languages, JR narrates reality, with the aim of stimulating reflections on social fragility.

“We welcome to Turin in the new museum of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Gallerie d’Italia the work of JR, this extraordinary artist capable of stimulating the active participation and reflection of the community on major issues such as immigration and the social dramas that wars bring,” commented Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, Intesa Sanpaolo Chairman. “Intesa Sanpaolo, which the 2022 results presented a few days ago confirmed as one of the top banks in Europe, seeks to do its part to mitigate social emergencies with the largest private project in Italy to combat poverty, with aid to the Ukrainian population and with extensive support given to associations and nonprofit organizations - including through the Charity Fund assigned to the Presidency. JR’s images capturing the smiles of children despite hardship and suffering represent a powerful boost of confidence in the future.”

“The presentation at Gallerie d’Italia of the project created by internationally renowned artist JR, who with talent and sensitivity transforms art into social commitment, confirms how our new museum in Turin is a place open to reflection on the most urgent challenges of the present,” added Giovanni Bazoli, Chairman Emeritus of Intesa Sanpaolo. “The initiative fully interprets the core values of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Progetto Cultura, aimed at building sustainable and inclusive societies by leveraging the immense potential of culture.”

“The Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation has supported Intesa Sanpaolo in defining the strategies of the Gallerie d’Italia - Piazza San Carlo since its inception,” said Francesco Profumo, chairman of the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation. "The museum is conceived as a cultural garrison open to the entire city, capable of exploring the complexity of the challenges of the future related to environmental, social and economic sustainability. For the realization of JR’s Déplacé∙e∙s exhibition at the Gallerie d’Italia, the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation has made available its rich network of relationships, involving in the events related to the exhibition various entities in the area together with which it is committed to building more inclusive societies. A commitment that is also realized through support for awareness-raising, training and information actions capable of helping to promote a new and more balanced narrative on migration."

Starting in the Parisian banlieue more than two decades ago, JR has taken his art all over the world with monumental public art interventions capable of interacting with large numbers of people and activating entire communities, from Brazilian favelas to a maximum security prison in California, from the Louvre Pyramid to the Egyptian pyramids, from the Israel-Palestine border to the Mexico-U.S. border.

Migrant and refugee issues have long been a part of JR’s research. Déplacé∙e∙s project, launched in 2022, brings together for the first time on this occasion a number of images taken by the artist in crisis zones, from war-torn Ukraine to the exterminated refugee camps of Mugombwa, Rwanda, and Mbera, Mauritania, Cùcuta in Colombia and Lesbos in Greece to make people reflect on the difficult conditions in which thousands of people find themselves today due to conflict, war, famine, and climate change and to engage audiences excluded from the artistic and cultural circuit under the banner of values such as freedom, imagination, creativity and participation.

The exhibition route starts at the museum entrance, with the staircase transformed into a trompe l’oeil with an anamorphic image: an optical illusion with which visitors will be invited to interact. It continues in the underground rooms where, through videos, photographs, wood sculptures and the scenic display of large sheets depicting the images of children encountered during visits to refugee camps from Rwanda to Greece, the public will be able to retrace and immerse themselves in the work and journeys that led the Parisian artist to confront the theme of forced migration.

The works, which are the result of the encounters and public art actions put into practice by JR, are also featured in the immersive room of the Galleries, where a specially created video installation will repropose the “journeys” of the large tarpaulins to other parts of the world, which, in this project, are proposed as a common thread in the narrative. The installation, a large site-specific installation, intends to engage visitors in this way with works of monumental scale.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a rich schedule of events included in the public program #INSIDE, which, through meetings with personalities from the world of culture, will allow visitors to explore themes related to the reflections triggered by the exhibition. The Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation collaborates with the Gallerie d’Italia by involving in the realization of the events related to the exhibition various entities in the area together with which it is committed to building more inclusive societies.

The catalog, produced by Edizioni Gallerie d’Italia | Skira, will be available from March 2023 in Italian, French and English editions.

Photo by Andrea Guermani

At the Gallerie d'Italia in Turin, Italy, the first Italian solo exhibition in a museum by JR
At the Gallerie d'Italia in Turin, Italy, the first Italian solo exhibition in a museum by JR

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