Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

ornella tondini
calvaria island

The last event of 2017 of the series Friday at OCRA Montalcino, “CALVARIA ISLAND”, an exhibition of a series of 60 black and white portraits of almost all the inhabitants of Filicudi Island made by Ornella Tondini in the early ’80s is held from 3 to 24 November.

OCRA Creative Workshop of Living – Montalcino (Siena)
03 / 24 November 2017 – FREE ENTRANCE

They lived their lives as in a dream, without knowing who they were or what they were; maybe so do we.

(Elogio de la sombra, J. L. Borges)

On the occasion of the series Fridays at OCRA Montalcino, under the patronage of the Municipality of Montalcino, the Permanent School of Living inaugurates “CALVARIA ISLAND”, a series of images, including large format images (100X150cm), made by Ornella Tondini in the early ’80s.
The exhibition features portraits of almost all the inhabitants of Filicudi, one of the seven Aeolian islands off the coast of Sicily: nine square kilometres with about two hundred inhabitants at the time the portraits were made. There were still three thousand inhabitants in 1940, but after the war almost all of them emigrated to America and Australia.
“I lived in Filicudi from one summer until the winter of the following year. At the beginning, I genuinely and generically loved everyone, then I backed off from almost everyone, and finally I felt a calm and different feeling for each of them. I found les autres chez les autres, as the ethnologist Marc Augé put it, l’autre psycologique dans l’autre culturel.
I photographed them with a tripod while they were posing as they preferred. My intention was not to portrait them as poor, underprivileged islanders as such. My Filicudi is not a world of losers, as it might seem at first glance.
This is confirmed by Borges’s quotation and by the stories on display with the portraits. Those stories were told by the inhabitants and they are intense, mysterious, ambiguous and outrageous. Above all, those stories illustrate the view of those people, who face everyday life with exceptional pride.
Those people are not provincials or proletarians, they are eccentric people. The inhabitants of Filicudi have never fitted any definitions by sociologists or politicians; when one is with them, one feels the same feeling that one feels in certain villages in Africa and Asia, where one meets timeless people who nevertheless know the tyranny and secrets of time perhaps better than we do. They derive their familiarity with destiny – with sentence, with apologue – from accepting destiny without trying to escape it until the end. All the inhabitants of Filicudi are protagonists.”

About | Ornella Tondini

Ornella Tondini is an art historian. She was Giulio Carlo Argan’s pupil and worked at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome. Afterwards, she was a photojournalist in various countries around the world and then an editor at L’Autre Journal in Paris. She has published Pour le Tchad – Le Sycomore, Paris; Für den Tschad, Verlag Köln78 and Toscane, Le Balcon de la Vie –Autrement, Paris.
She currently lives and produces wine in Montalcino with her husband Lionel Cousin.

On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition, the tasting is offered by the wineries Casa Raia, Cupano, Fonterenza, Nostravita, Podere Salicutti, San Polino and Scopeto del Cavalli, organic certified farms that produce organic and biodynamic wine.


Friday 03 November 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

Exhibition open until 24 November 2017
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

OCRA – Creative Workshop of Living
Via Boldrini 4 – Montalcino (Siena)
Free entrance

OCRA – Officina Creativa dell’Abitare
Via Boldrini 4 – Montalcino, Italy
tel. +39 0577 847065