Steve McCurry: Get Lost Through the Lens

The new exhibit, Beyond Sight, invites spectators to explore the life of prolific photographer Steve McCurry through a beautiful and sometimes surreal maze of photos.

McCurry is a documentary photographer known for his captivating shots of people and situations in some of the world’s most remote, oppressed and impoverished countries. His new show at Cinecittà presents a series of curated photographs including recent works as well as iconic images such as The Afghan Girl, first published by National Geographic. The display was specifically designed by Peter Bottazzi to guide the visitor through McCurry’s world. The result is a maze-like room where the photos are presented on transparent black veils.

As you wander around, you observe narratives unfolding around you and in the distance. It feels almost like being in an ethereal dream; you are constantly captivated by the next bolt of color, the next set of eyes. Steve McCurry himself narrates the exhibition’s audio guide, and it feels incredibly personal to hear his account of individual frames, how they were captured and who the people depicted in them are.

McCurry’s photographs of people and cultures around the world are so technically superb and striking, that it is easy to forget how much research, patience, and sometimes risk, goes into each perfect frame. McCurry faced challenges such as weeks of getting up at sunrise and waiting for the right colours on the riverbanks of Kashmir, as well as struggling to find the right translator to approach the inhabitants of a war-torn village.

One photo in particular stands out as uniquely self-aware and self-critical. McCurry’s own position becomes integral to the story in the photo of a mother and child in the rain, taken from the inside of a Mumbai taxi. The photo epitomizes the complex responsibility of documenting the “exotic other.” Steve McCurry says that this sad, rainy scene, captured in a split second from the inside of an air-conditioned bubble, is symbolic of the “haves and have-nots”.

Aside from composition, the most important aspect of McCurry’s work is his own motivation. Travelling since he was 19, McCurry has dedicated his life to documenting what life is like across the world. Although photography is clearly a passion he lives and breathes, the exhibit is framed not only by the story of his subjects, but also by McCurry’s experiences as the man behind the lens.

Till September 20 2015

Teatro 1, Cinecittà

Via Tuscolana 1055 (Metro A)

Mon – Sun 9.30am – 7pm (closed Tues)

Entry Fee €10 – €12

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