History of Our World

Piedmont | Josef Koudelka

Posted in Art, Photography by A on June 3, 2010

Settimo Torinese, Bridge & Rivoli, Castello di Rivoli, Museum of Contempory Art, work by Maurizio Cattelan.

Carema, Via Francigena & Val Varaita.

Turin, lake in front of the Palazzo del Lavoro.

Lake Maggiore; Turin, Lingotto, former Fiat factory, test track; Isola Bella, gardens of the Palazzo Borrome & Robilante, cement works.

Settimo Torinese, construction site for high-speed rail link & Pragelato, livestock market.

The earth in Piedmont is a kaleidoscope of colours. In some areas, it is as red as the soil of India. In others it is almost black. In the interior, it comes in every shade of yellow and brown. Generations of peasants broke their backs in the fields in the hope of being rewarded with a plentiful harvest in the summer months.

The majority of them were so poor that the only food they could afford to eat was polenta, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Big families would crowd around the table en masse to tuck into this peasant fare, perhaps flavored with a few dried anchovies if they were lucky (these would typically have been conveyed on the back of a mule from the neighbouring region of Liguria, to be hung right above the dining table). For many the only way to keep warm was to sleep next to the animals.

Shortly after Bonaparte’s exile in St Helena, the idea of a unified Italy, which had evaporated centuries before with the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, was reborn in Piedmont. Or, at least, an idea of a unified Italy, which many believe has yet to be realized fully. In fact, some maintain that all you would need to do is get behind the wheel of a car and drive from Turin to Trapani in Sicily, via Bolzano near the Austrian border, watching the way the landscape changes beyond the safety barriers, and stopping off at roadside service stations along the way.

– Giuseppe Culicchia


Koudelka Piedmont

Josef Koudelka : Xavier Barral : Giuseppe Culicchia : Luisa Nitrato Izzo

Thames & Hudson



Josef Koudelka