On Reading is an exhibition by artist Steve McCurry, which was opened at the Center for Openness and Dialogue, curated by Biba Bottazzi and installed by Peter Bottazzi. This exhibition will remain open from June 3 to July 31, 2022.


The exhibition is an homage to photographer André Kertész and consists of 71 pictures exposed throughout the space of COD. The pictures were shot India, Afghanistan, Africa, Cuba, Turkey, Italy and USA, and they reflect various realities and cultures with the common subject of books and reading. The shots were realized from 1978 to 2019.

65 photographs are installed in a geometric aluminum structure along the COD hall and the “Meet the artist” hall. These photographs reflect moments when young and elders are involved in reading, breaking away from the reality that surrounds them and lost in a completely intimate situation. The book is always in their hands. Although they are often in unusual places, they manage to concentrate even if they are in the open and bombed premises of schools, surrounded by the sounds of cars or the presence of animals.

The images are accompanied by an audio emitting a soft sound of constant whispering and sometimes the chanting of Quran verses. This audio becomes comprehensive, as a narrator of the situations documented with images.

In the corridor to the left there are five portrait photographs, among McCurry’s most famous taken in: Peshawar, Pakistan (1984); Srinagar, Kashmir (1998); Xigaze, Tibet (2001); Peshawar, Pakistan (2002); Afghanistan (2007).

*Steve McCurry was born on April 23, 1950, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. McCurry is an American photographer and photojournalist. He studied film at Pennsylvania State University and became one of the most prominent names in contemporary photography. His photographs have appeared in many magazines, books and exhibitions around the world.

McCurry’s photographs reflect diverse events that took place in different countries and cultures, yet they always preserve the human element. All of his images are human centered and McCurry believes that there is always a commonality between people and thus he focuses on their state of mind. An example of this is the Afghan girl who was on the cover of National Geographic several times.

McCurry has been awarded with several prizes, including: the Robert Capa Gold Medal; National Press Photography Award; Centenary Medal for Lifetime Achievement, from the Royal Photographic Society, London; winner of four first prizes from the Wold Press Photo contest. The French Minister of Culture has also named McCurry a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. In 2015, he was hired by Microsoft to take photos in areas of New Zealand, which were later used as backgrounds in Windows 10. He has also published several books with photos, such as: Stories & Dreams: Portraits of Childhood; In Search of Elsewhere; Steve McCurry, Animals; A life in Pictures, published in several different languages.