Dispatch from the Road

Still Life with Fragile World: A Photo Exhibition in Naples

by Julie Pullen
Anne "Before the Cyclone," by Anne de Carbuccia. All photos courtesy of the artist.

If you find yourself in Naples this summer en route to the Amalfi Coast and Capri, head to the waterfront — a short walk from where ferries depart — to see this excellent photography exhibition that explores environmental impact around the world.

NAPLES — I traveled to Naples recently for the opening of French-American environmental artist Anne de Carbuccia's photography exhibition One at the atmospheric seaside Castel Dell'Ovo on the waterfront in Naples. The medieval stone enclosure admits the sea breeze and ocean sounds into a cavernous vault in the castle containing a curated collection of large-format photographs. The visual feast and achingly beautiful setting stimulate the heart and mind.

The selection of twenty photographs form a powerful meditation on humanity and our abiding existential ties to the planet's myriad climates and creatures — from desert and forest to ocean and icy realm. Interspersed with the photographs are film screens tucked into crevices framed behind ancient gates that tell the story of how the images were taken in remote regions of the earth.

Anne de Carbuccia's 'Sudan Dawn'
"Sudan Dawn"
Anne de Carbuccia's
"Before the Cyclone"
Anne de Carbuccia Sudan Dawn
"Sudan Dawn."
Anne de Carbuccia
Anne de Carbuccia behind the scenes.

The artist also maintains permanent galleries in Milan and NYC, and I've had the pleasure of speaking with schoolchildren about climate change and resilience as a collaboration with Anne de Carbuccia in the NYC gallery.

De Carbuccia's work vividly reminds us of our emotional connection with geographies that are experiencing accelerating change. By situating a "time shrine" in the midst of unforgettable landscapes and critters, she invites an array of feelings. The skull — the timeless vanitas, the element of still life painting with roots deep through art history — conveys choice and impermanence, compelling us to consider alternatives to short-term vanity. The hourglass suggests urgency in the face of the rapid pace of environmental change.

These artifacts accompany her on her travels and form the core element of her compositions, surrounded by local pieces she gathers on site, such as a whale bone in Antarctica and desiccated camel bone in the Middle East.


Castel Dell'Ovo
The exhibition at Castel Dell'Ovo on the waterfront in Naples.

Profits from the sales of de Carbuccia's work go entirely to One Planet One Future, a non-profit that funds local conservation and resilience efforts in the countries portrayed in the photographs.

See the Show

Castel Dell'Ovo is located at Via Eldorado, 3, along the waterfront. The exhibition runs through September 30, 2018, and is open from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. daily and on Sundays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Combine a visit with a stroll through the castle ramparts and a lunch on the esplanade across from the castle. We love Pizzeria Brandi off Via Chiaia. The exhibition complements the many archeological sites and museums in the area. The ferries to Capri and Sorrento and other ports in the Gulf of Naples leave from the port nearby.

Keep Exploring Naples and the Amalfi Coast

A Pizza-Free Guide to the Best Food in Naples
Fathom's Guide to the Amalfi Coast + Capri
Fathom Favorites: Hotels, Restaurants, Shops, and Sites on the Amalfi Coast + Capri