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SPRING EXHIBITION: IDENTITY CODES
Senior Art Director, Simone Lorusso, on curating radical photography exhibition Identity Codes for Spring Milan
Senior Art Director, Simone Lorusso
Interviewed by Ben Perdue, Head of Content and Editorial
Hosted by Spring’s Milan office, Identity Codes is a celebration of sexual, cultural, and emotional diversity. Here, our Senior Art Director and curator Simone Lorusso talks about what inspired the show, how he brought the contributors together, and the importance of sharing a positive message through contemporary photography.
Hi Simone! What story did you want the exhibition to tell, and why is it that story so important?
Identity Codes is the first exhibition I’ve organised in the Spring space in Milan. I wanted to kick off the first of many future exhibitions with a strong, contemporary theme that would not only reflect who I am today but also delve into my past as a photographer, and as a person who was bullied for both my body size and my sexuality. My intention was to pay tribute to all of us - we are so different from one another and yet equally beautiful.
Where did you find the photographers whose work appears?
The show serves as an ode to cultural, sexual, and emotional diversity, that’s why I shared the theme with various friends. I immediately saw the excitement in their eyes, knowing that they could share their own stories; the stories of the people they've met and immortalised through their photographs. In the end, I believe that nothing is more important than stories. They allow us to build empathy towards others and raise awareness among people.
“We are who we are, and there is no need to hide our habits, likes, dislikes, style, fears, physical appearance, or desires.”
— Simone Lorusso
What is the connection that brings all these image-makers together? What do they have in common?
The common thread is their shared commitment to capturing the authenticity and vulnerability of the people they photograph. They portray their subjects as they truly are, without fear of judgment or prejudice. This collective approach seeks to emphasise the inherent value of each person's identity, free from the constraints of societal norms or labels. They share the idea that we are who we are, and there is no need to hide our habits, likes, dislikes, style, fears, physical appearance, or desires. By capturing people in an unfiltered, unapologetic state, these photographers and artists aim to break down stereotypes and challenge preconceived notions, promoting a message of acceptance and inclusion.
What was your favourite comment about the exhibition from a visitor?
My favourite comment about the exhibition came from a young woman who asked me how long I had been working as a curator at Spring. Her question made me smile and, at the same time, deeply moved me. I believe strongly in determination and the will to make things happen. Before coming to Spring, I used to live in Rotterdam, and the city's motto, "Rotterdam. Make it Happen," has since shaped my belief. If Rotterdam can say it, why can't I? This comment resonated because it reflects the empowering message of the exhibition, the idea that individuals can take charge of their destinies and make their aspirations a reality.