Naples – Tuesday 4 October at 6.00 pm, at the Banco di Napoli Foundation in via dei Tribunali 213, the vernissage of the photographic exhibition “Journey to Campania” from Giuseppe Leone. The exhibition will remain open to the public, with free admission, until 23 October. Giuseppe Leone from Ragusa is one of the most interesting photographers of his generation, seventy years of activity during which he mostly told about his Sicily. Thanks to his father, organ master at the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, he immediately learned to recognize beauty and enhance it with his artistic sensitivity, he would have liked to be a painter, but in the workshop, in the studio of the photographer Antoci, he discovered the love for photographic art. “Dear Andreose, allow me to point out a photographer with a shop in Ragusa who seems to have slipped from a Brancati page“. Giuseppe Leone is the name of the photographer mentioned. The letter of patronage, on the other hand, bears the signature of Leonardo Sciascia. Recipient of the message, Mario Andreose, editorial director of Bompiani. Milan, it was 1986. A series of very elegant and very successful photographic books followed. Giuseppe Leone, 85, holds in his archive more than five hundred thousand shots, sixty photographic books with texts signed by the great authors of twentieth century literature. Following the unheard warning of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Leone continued to photograph and narrate our country, to archive landscapes and architecture of the past, while Italy was inexorably homologating. He recorded the abandonment of the countryside, the depopulation of historic centers, the distortion of the landscape, the destruction of the archaeological heritage, the systematic dispossession of churches, building speculation, the disfigurement of the coasts, the barbarization of customs. A photographic record that is worth an entire anthropological museum. His shots have been published on the covers of the most prestigious magazines. He portrayed the great intellectuals and the most successful artists. Photographs that continue to tell the story of Sicily loved by travelers on the Grand Tour. Authoritative BBC journalists interviewed him, collectors come from all over the world, great couturiers like Dolce & Gabbana use his photos for their advertising campaigns. His career starts from the meeting of two extraordinary artists, Leonardo Sciascia ed Enzo Sellerio. Their first meeting was set in the Palermo headquarters of the famous publishing house. Leone had closed the layout of his first book “The lived stone”. Enzo Sellerio, master of all the masters of Sicilian photography, asked him to follow him, he wanted to introduce him to a person. The Ragusa photographer found himself in the presence of Leonardo Sciascia, sitting on a sofa while smoking yet another cigarette. He was struck by the immediate question of the author “The day of the owl”, who asked him if he knew the prefecture of Ragusa. Leo, frightened, naively replied yes. Sciascia pushed back, amused, explaining that the reference was to the tempera created by Duilio Cambellotti. Paintings that adorned the prefecture building. The writer already had in mind a work dedicated to a removed page of Italian history. Paradoxically, that first question from him, after a few years, turned into their latest book: “Invention of a prefecture”, published by Bompiani. The book was published by the editorial director Mario Andreose, after the bizarre letter of introduction from Sciascia. Subsequently Sciascia and Giuseppe Leone traveled far and wide across Sicily for exhibitions and conferences, but in many years of friendship, the photographer never dared to speak to the great writer. Sciascia was a decisive person for Leone’s career. His words, his indications, have opened unexplored horizons, giving method to his work as a photographer. On the occasion of the 24th edition of the Arturo Esposito Sorrentine Peninsula Award, Giuseppe Leonesaid Peppeacademic teacher, invited his namesake Giuseppe Leone, Sicilian photographer, to Sorrento, he had proposed to the patron Mario Espositoan artistic residency project that gave new life to Grand Tour in our Campania. The Gulf of Naples and the Sorrento Peninsula, therefore, the places and the memory of the Grand Tour which has its roots in the seventeenth century, thanks to the photographic art of the Ragusa photographer, have merged with one of the other fundamental stages that characterized the travels of the past, Sicily giving life to a work of rare beauty. Two visions, two narratives, through the photography of the Sicilian master, narrator of his land, its bowels and its surface, ferryman among its wonders and its contrasts, its paradoxes, made lyrical by the use of a black and white which is, at the same time, a vision of memory and poetic fascination. Places for images and images for places that, through the faces, the stories have built a geography of the soul that, today, belongs to the community. The two Leone, Peppe and Giuseppe, with the “Journey to Campania” reveal to us after the Trinacria the mythical Campania felix of the past.
Curated by Luigi De Rosa
Giuseppe Leone: https://www.giuseppeleone.it/.
Journey to Campania by Giuseppe LeoneCopyAMP code