TORONTO – May 1 , 2018 – Villa Charities will present Russian – born artist Sergey Tesker’s exhibition, “One Euro Italy,” from May 4 – 28, 2018. As part of the Open Exhibition Program for the 2018 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, the exhibition will be held at Toronto’s Columbus Centre in the Upper Gallery of the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, which is free and open to the public Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm
“One Euro Italy” refers to a public campaign launched in Italy by mayors of remote villages called “Un euro per una casa.” To arrest the process of decay and depopulation caused by trends of emigration and urbanization, homes and buildings are being sold for the symbolic price of one euro. The offer comes with a legally binding commitment by the owner to restore the properties within three years of the purchase.
“The beautiful images on display tell stories of remote Italian villages and the people who call them home,” said Emanuele Lepri, Executive Director of Cultural Programming, Villa Charities. “The artwork produced by Sergey in his journey through Italy is very relevant to the community we serve.”
Tesker, intrigued by this innovative and surprising idea, embarked on a journey to explore and photograph these towns, villages and hamlets, far away and overshadowed by the many tourist attractions that make Italy the country with the highest number of UNESCO-listed heritage sites in the world. Tesker’s journey shifts the focus from buildings and nature to the people who still inhabit these remote communities. The humanity, simplicity, resilience and warmth of those few remarkable individuals who still care and keep these communities alive becomes the subject of this vivid visual narrative.
“Originally, I set out on this artistic journey to capture the architecture, landscape and beauty of these remote villages,” said Tesker. “But as soon as I arrived I found myself fascinated by the people.”
Villa Charities is proud to present Tesker’s work as it connects directly to the experience of emigration and identity in their community; the patrons and their ancestors who left those very towns in search of a better future for themselves and their families in Canada. His work speaks to a common past and raises awareness of an important initiative – one that will hopefully breathe new life into remote yet beautiful villages and towns in Italy.
SERGEY TESKER BIOGRAPHY
Born in Volgograd, Russia in 1976, Tesker became an avid hobby photographer the moment he picked up his parents’ rangefinder camera and joined his Grade 6 photo club at school. With an M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Material Science, Tesker never abandoned his passion for photography. After emigrating to Canada, with hopes of rebooting his photographic hobby into a new career, he got a job at McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI), eventually establishing his own engineering startup company – SurfaTec Laser Solutions. After six more years of venturing with his new-born business, Tesker arrived at where he wanted to be – creating still images with light, camera and sometimes action.
ABOUT VILLA CHARITIES
Villa Charities Inc. is a registered charity and non-profit organization that celebrates and promotes the Italian Heritage, Culture, Language, Arts, Food and Family Values. For almost 50 years across the GTA, Villa Charities has provided care for seniors and offered educational and cultural programs in music, dance, visual arts, culinary arts, athletics and more. The Villa Charities family includes Villa Colombo Homes for the Aged Inc. in Toronto; Villa Colombo Vaughan/DiPoce Centre; Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto and Casa Abruzzo apartments for independent seniors; the Columbus Centre; and Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery.