Agnese Tamburrini portraits the votive kiosks in Naples

Sacred statues or images of Christ, Madonna or even the deceased. The votive kiosks are small architecture that characterise the urban landscape of Naples.

Agnese Tamburrini, Gesù, Giuseppe, Sant’Anna e Maria, squaglia ‘o riavulo e vence Dio

The phenomenon of votive kiosks is common to many Italian cities. It is easy to come across devotional chapels, ornate or otherwise, in big cities or in the suburbs around. In Naples, a city known for its strong contrasts, votive shrines are in a context that is in itself very fragmented and stratified. Although rich in detail, while mixed with modern surrounding they are paradoxically passed unnoticed. It is serendipitous then to come across an ancient crucifix between two windows of a low-cost clothing store in a high trafficked street; a shrine in a courtyard or even a tall chapel in the middle of narrow and noisy alleys.

The relationship that these structures establish with the inhabitants is still very strong. Sacred statues or images of Christ, Madonna or even the deceased, often protected by shrines or wrought iron bars, some framed by colored neon, others accompanied by prayer letters or household objects are perceived by the neighbours as part of daily life and are often lived, decorated and restored by the individual families who keep them in their custody.

Img.9 Agnese Tamburrini, Gesù, Giuseppe, Sant’Anna e Maria, squaglia ‘o riavulo e vence Dio
Agnese Tamburrini, Gesù, Giuseppe, Sant’Anna e Maria, squaglia ‘o riavulo e vence Dio

The series of analogue photographs developed for this theme intends therefore to represent the strong contrasts that the Neapolitan votive shrines have with the surroundings and with the people; even if the latter are deliberately excluded from framing. Frontal view and centered newsstand are constants for most of the shots, except in a few cases where certain details required a closer viewpoint. The project was bounded into a self-produced pocket book and baptised, Gesù, Giuseppe, Sant’Anna e Maria, squaglia ‘o riavulo e vence Dio.

Img.10 Agnese Tamburrini, Gesù, Giuseppe, Sant’Anna e Maria, squaglia ‘o riavulo e vence Dio
Agnese Tamburrini, Gesù, Giuseppe, Sant’Anna e Maria, squaglia ‘o riavulo e vence Dio

Born in Caserta, where she graduated in industrial design, Agnese Tamburrini is interested in popular cultures and their anthropological aspects, seeking a balance between artisan knowledge and the logic of mass production. Her graduation thesis  Ecco, a project for children that stimulate education towards recycling, has bagged her the third prize at the Lucky Strike Designer Award 2012. After a brief experience in digital publications, Agnese specialized in design for publishing at the ISIA in Urbino, finding her center in the synthesis of the different experiences she encountered on her path. In the meantime she is approaching photography and fuels her passion for publishing.

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