Photographic exhibition “Return to Deir Mar Musa: The Utopia of Father Dall’Oglio”

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Photographic exhibition “Return to Deir Mar Musa: The Utopia of Father Dall’Oglio”

The exhibition will be open from April 14 to May 26

The Municipality of Govone promotes the photographic exhibition Return to Deir Mar Musa. The Utopia of Father Dall’Oglio by Ivo Saglietti , set up in the Exhibition Hall of the Royal Castle, in collaboration with the Govone Sabauda Residence Association, Govone Art, and the Govone Cultural Promotion Center and the Castle.

Ivo Saglietti, a prominent photojournalist, will be the protagonist of two simultaneous exhibitions, right in the area where he spent his youth. The photographic exhibition at the Royal Castle of Govone, dedicated to a project and a book, opens a few days in advance compared to the Alba retrospective Ivo Saglietti The Nomadic Gaze which will open a week later.

Ivo Saglietti was born in Toulon but spent his adolescence in Alba, and in 1975 he began to engage in photography until he became a photojournalist. It was in 2000 that the publisher Mario Peliti proposed him to do a reportage on the Jesuit Father Dall’Oglio, who would become one of his dearest friends, one of the most beautiful people Ivo had ever met, from which the first book “Under the Tent of Abraham” (ed. Peliti) was born.

Ten years later, on the anniversary of the disappearance of Father Paolo Dall’Oglio in 2013, Ivo Saglietti symbolically returns to Mar Musa, as if to reestablish a suddenly interrupted dialogue and to re-read that experience, both human and photographic, questioning its meaning. With the publisher Emuse, he publishes, in 2023, the book Return to Deir Mar Musa. The Utopia of Father Dall’Oglio.

The photographic exhibition tells of the possible dialogue between religions in the community founded by Father Paolo Dall’Oglio at the ancient monastery Deir Mar Musa el-Habasci (Saint Moses the Abyssinian) in Syria. A place of hospitality and Catholic-Muslim interreligious exchange, perched on the mountains of Syria. The monks photographed by Ivo Saglietti are men and women from different churches and countries, who daily experience the difficulties and richness of diversity, demonstrating that God is one and we can live together in his faith, regardless of the religion professed. The intense black and white of this work, documenting the community’s daily life from within, well represents the contrast of lights and shadows of two worlds in perpetual ideological conflict, which instead find a place of dialogue and constructive confrontation in the enclave of Deir Mar Musa el-Habasci.

The exhibition highlights the conversation between Ivo Saglietti and abuna Paolo, stemming from a common sense of belonging to the journey, an attraction to the Middle East, and the disarming mystery of tenderness of a dialogue over a cup of coffee. Photography is memory and the exhibition confirms the intention to remember and make known who Father Dall’Oglio and Ivo Saglietti were. A meeting and confrontation between two men different in origin, training, and experiences, but animated by a common feeling and a friendship as unexpected as it is deep that continues to move us. Ivo has always stated: “Friendship changes you inside: it reshapes you in the social, cultural, and spiritual relationship. It is, to quote Massignon, to insert oneself into the line of destiny of the friend.”

The curator Tiziana

Bonomo has selected, together with Federico Montaldo of the Saglietti Archive and Grazia Dell’Oro of the Emuse publishing house, the approximately 30 b/w images of the exhibition, recalling the connection with the Alba exhibition that will be inaugurated on April 24 in the Church of San Domenico. The two exhibitions will be open during the period between April and May.

The organization warmly thanks the Municipality of Govone for the opportunity and hospitality in one of the most beautiful royal castles in Piedmont.

The exhibition will open on Saturday, April 13 at 5 pm and will be open from April 14 to May 26, 2024.

Opening hours:
Friday and Saturday 10 am-12:30 pm/3-6 pm – Sunday 10 am-12:30 pm/2-6 pm

For information: 

+39 0173 58103, +39 371 4918587 

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