Sublime Napoli

Jean Luc Dubin, Florian Villain

An extraordinary photographic journey in the city of Naples (Italy).
Publication date:
December 2022
Publisher :
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9782490952045

Dimensions : 280 X 203 mm
Available for pre-order


• A conversation between photography and sociology thanks to the gaze cross between Florian Villain, French sociologist and philosopher, and Jean Luc Dubin, French plastic artist.
• A documentary and artistic book for all lovers of Naples offering a declaration of love for the Neapolitans and their city
• Made of "deep blacks" and "exploded whites", the Bay of Naples reveals the ambivalence of a thousand-year-old population, suspended at Vesuvius.

Fascinated by the primitive beauty of reality, French photographer Jean Luc Dubin apprehends the social world without interpretation or spirituality, guided by what Florian Villain calls "a gaze without a glance". Human behavior in all its materiality is an inexhaustible source of poetry for the photographer. In Naples as in New York, his street photos are shaped like a social precipitate, triggered by the magical moment of the click. Beyond the social world, Jean Luc Dubin also tackles received ideas about human nature, which is akin to a standardized construction. As the starting point of his friendship with Florian Villain, his photos affirm that he there are as many humanities as there are possibilities. And if the beautiful can afford to be weird, sometimes transmuting into extreme beauty, it is good because it is revealed by the singular gaze of a photographer.

Human behaviour in all its materiality is an inexhaustible source of poetry for the photographer. In Naples, his street photos form like a social precipitate, triggered by the magic moment of the click.

As such, the series on Naples includes several bones and vanities attached to the "ritual of wandering souls", which consists in honoring the skull of the dead in order to soften their arrival in the afterlife and offer them recognition and dignity.

In the heart of the Neapolitan cellars, women have perpetuated this tradition for centuries. Jean Luc Dubin took an interest in these practices at the same time as Florian Villain, who found in the photographs of his friend, a resonance to the thesis that he would expose some time later, in the review of Mauss. In its history, Naples has overcome constant tragedies and threats that have permanently shaped the behaviour of its inhabitants. Regularly under foreign domination, the city experienced invasions, epidemics and deadly eruptions without ever losing its identity. Florian Villain explains that Naples was built on appearances to protect its culture, recalling that its streets are «like a theatre scene». According to the sociologist, we cannot penetrate the Neapolitans to day without looking elsewhere than what they deign to show us; Jean Luc Dubin, however, manages to detect what survives under the mask.