The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is pleased to host a lecture by Valerio Spada Saturday, September 15th at 6 PM.  He will speak about his most recent project Gomorrah Girl, on view at PPAC until November 24th.  Gomorrah Girl is a photo documentary about adolescence, choices, and chances in one of the most dangerous places in Italy to grow up.  The exhibition explores the hazards of womanhood in the crime-ridden and perilous city of Naples, Italy.  At a young age, girls are often influenced by media and celebrities creating self aspirations of stardom.  As young as thirteen they often become mothers, skipping the adolescence which is lived fully everywhere else in Italy.

Gommorah Girl begins with the murder of Giovanni Durante’s daughter, Annalisa, who got caught in the crossfire of violence in the land of Camorrah (the name of the Mafia in Naples).  Spada’s own documentary photographs, in conjunction with a smaller book of photographs detailing the police investigation of Annalisa’s murder, are bound together offering details into the the personal tragedies suffered by the subjects alongside stone-cold factual information provided by police evidence.  Spada intended to photograph the original murder evidence, but was denied permission by the Italian police.  The intalian police told Spada that pictures of the pictures were allowed, so with that Spada shot every single page of evidence.  While shooting, clarity came with the concept of a book within a book and as each page unfolds, the viewer is challenged by layers of meaning.

Gommorah Girl was first published by Cross Editions in 2011.  The second edition consists of a quad fold poster designed by Valerio Spada, comes in a bigger format and in 750 numbered copies, and is now available for sale.  Gomorrah Girl won the Photography Book Now Award 2011 as best book of the year.  In 2003 Valerio self published, founded and was Editor in Chief  of “Cross Magazine”, which was distributed in more than 40 countries worldwide.  The publication includes artists’ works from Cyprien Gaillard, Viviane Sassen amongst others.  Currently, Valerio Spada lives and works between New York, Paris, and Milan.

 

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