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Events | Exhibition Opening
Willa Italia

Lucia Mugnolo. In Search of the Decisive Moment.

  • 16-12-2023, Saturday, at 5:00 pm -

The opening (vernissage) of a photography exhibition by Naples-born artist Lucia Mugnolo will take place on Saturday, 16th December 2023 at 5 p.m. at the Lentz Villa Gallery.
At her Szczecin exhibition (which she entitled In Search of the Decisive Moment), Mugnolo, an Officine Fotografiche di Roma graduate, presents many varied and non-obvious perspectives on the capital of Campania. In several chapters, she shows the Neapolitans themselves and the contexts of their everyday lives, to which variety is added by exciting sports events, the frenzy of festivities, high art, as well as leisure activities at and around the seafront, with the inscrutable Vesuvius rising high above the waters of the gulf.

The photographer takes her viewers on a journey to the invincible city and presents them, from the perspective of an insider, with a subjective archive made up of captured moments and images that serve as so many pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of the extremely rich and multidimensional identity of Naples.

The exhibition is curated by Marta Wróblewska, a culture manager who has collaborated with such prestigious Neapolitan institutions as Madre, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Fondazione Morra, and Ipogeo dei Cristallini, as well as with the Gustav-Seitz-Museum in Trebnitz (Germany), the Mark Rothko Center in Daugavpils (Latvia), the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, and the Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk (Poland).

Please join us for this event.

Entry is free of charge.

Media patrons:


Honorary patronage:

Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Varsavia

Lucia Mugnolo. In search of the decisive moment

Since the times of Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of street photography, the ‘decisive moment’ has served as the definition of the quintessence of capturing the uniqueness of the everyday life with a camera. Manoeuvring amongst the crowd like a basketball player (Garry Winogrand) or traversing the city like a hunter in search of the right theme (H. Cartier-Bresson), photographers combine agility and superb reflexes with intuition and sensitivity, which allows them to find precisely the right moment, understood as a mix of important sociological, political, historical, and cultural information.

An heiress to the post-war Italian school of photography, Lucia Mugnolo documents reality in what appear to be objective ‘photographic notes’, but in fact convey a large dose of empathy for the theme and the model alike, as well as a deep aesthetic sense of both the sophisticated and seemingly banal beauty. All this comes with a grain of peculiar irony and distance, so typical of the Neapolitan culture characterised by its longue durée structure that resists the fleeting political and social trends.

What distinguishes Mugnolo’s work is her fascination with reflections, repetitions, and rhythms. It defines her way of pondering on the elusive and the indefinable, of experiencing the transitory nature of things, and attempting to discover and observe multiple layers of reality by entering a kind of play with various perceptions of time frozen for a brief moment in a photographic frame. This is what makes her works into something more than a mere documentary record. These photographs convey a feeling of action and direct sensation, thus becoming a ritual consisting of sharing an experience that involves both the senses and the intellect, that takes place between the photographer, the photographed objects and the viewer.

‘I’m very fond of story-telling,’ says Lucia Mugnolo about the photo-stories she creates while walking through her native city of Naples. These streets ‘teach’ one to be human, to feel a sense of community and belonging, while the often spontaneous interactions that take place almost at every step obliterate the feeling of loneliness in the crowd that has become symptomatic of many present-day metropolises. The four visual-narrative ‘chapters’ of the exhibition represent selected aspects of the city’s life. We are first greeted by the portraits of its inhabitants, captured in their everyday contexts. We then get carried away by the carnival crowd and by football fans celebrating SSC Napoli’s Series A Championship 2023. We also meet the city’s inhabitants enjoying their free time at the sunny waterfront, with the inscrutable Vesuvius towering above them. We eventually reach the Neoclassical Villa Pignatelli and succumb to the beauty of the local artistic heritage.

‘Napule è na' camminata’ (Naples is a stroll), as the Neapolitan bluesman Pino Daniele once sang. We may feel overpowered by its beauty at times, stunned by its chaos at others, but it certainly never is average or boring. It remains in constant flux, always escaping any rigid frameworks and strict classifications. Walking with her camera in search of the ‘decisive moment’, Lucia Mugnolo does not attempt any conclusive definition of that indomitable city. Rather, from the perspective of an insider, she confronts us with a subjective chronicle of its everyday life, made up of moments and fragments, and featuring those who contribute to the immense wealth and multidimensionality of the city’s identity.

Marta Wróblewska
Patronat honorowy
Patronat medialny
Lucia Mugnolo. W poszukiwaniu decydującego momentu. Willa Italia
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