Exhibition: Jean-Pierre Maurer, Giusi D’Orsi – Così fan tutti. 1974 – 1983
Curated by: Michele Galluzzo, Stefano Riba
Images: Giusi D’Orsi, Jean-Pierre Maurer
Graphic design: Marcello Jacopo Biffi, Michele Galluzzo
Showcase: Foto Forum, via Weggenstein 3F, Bolzano
Public billposting: Bolzano
Date: April 27, 2021 – May 22, 2021
Così fan tutti. 1974 – 1983
The private archives of Giusi D’Orsi and Jean-Pierre Maurer
Così fan tutti. 1974 – 1983 is a widespread exhibition that presents two unpublished series of portraits from the private archives of Giusi D’Orsi and Jean-Pierre Maurer, which were shot between the seventies and eighties as part of the famous advertising campaign Bevo Jägermeister perché. Over the span of over ten years, the commercial communication of herbal liqueur has published over 1500 portraits of ordinary people with ironic headlines in national periodicals. The communication strategy for the promotion of the liqueur was conceived by the GGK Düsseldorf agency for the German market. It later arrived in Italy in 1974 through the work of GGK Milano and commissioned by the entrepreneur Karl Schmid from Merano. The latter was the producer of the amaro – first in Postal and then in Salorno – and the exclusive distributor for Italy from the 1960s to the mid-1990s.
The campaign entered the history of Italian advertising and collective memory. The success of the hype was due to the innovative use of ordinary people as testimonials and to the original strategies used in spreading the advertisements. As a matter of fact, in line with the German Unikat Kampagne, each subject was published only once on a single newspaper. The impact of the campaign was evident when many aspiring ordinary people sent their candidacy to the Milanese agency or directly to Karl Schmid to become protagonists of the campaign. In the first half of the 1980s, the newspaper “Il Giorno” presented the series of advertisements as a ‘huge success’ highlighting how «every week hundreds and hundreds of letters and photos arrive from all over Italy with a prayer: take me, let me do that advertisement».
The exhibition Cosi fan tutti. 1974 – 1983, curated by Michele Galluzzo and Stefano Riba and organized by Foto Forum with the support of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano and the Municipality of Bolzano will be on display starting from April 27 until May 22, 2021, in a way that allows it to be viewed in person and in compliance with the current anti SARS CoV-2 provisions. The exhibition will take place in the city space of Bolzano with a series of unique public billpostings; in the Foto Forum showcase window in via Weggenstein 3F in Bolzano, thanks to a video installation that can be seen from the outside; on social media channels and on the institution’s website; in a volume published by Skinnerboox – with graphic design by Marcello Jacopo Biffi and Michele Galluzzo – which, in addition to the images, will also contain the critical texts of the curators and the interviews carried out with the protagonists of the campaign: D’Orsi, Maurer and Schmid.
Così fan tutti. 1974 – 1983 presents over 1300 portraits from the photographic archives of two of the protagonists of the campaign: that of Jean-Pierre Maurer, the only official photographer of the campaign for its entire duration; that of Giusi D’Orsi, the art buyer appointed by GGK to recruit testimonials. Through these two archival collections, the exhibition will allow us to reconstruct, for the first time, the history of over ten years of Bevo Jägermeister perché, and to analyze the dialogue with Italian society at the turn of the seventies and eighties and to reflect on the increasingly topical meaning of public self image.
Giusi D’Orsi was born in Salerno. During the 1960s she moved to Turin where she worked at Fiat. In 1969, she moved to Milan and began her career in advertising. In 1978 she became an independent art buyer and collaborated with the major agencies and photographic studios for the preparation of sets and for the castings of advertising campaigns. In September in the same year, and until 1983, she was in charge of the scouting of “any testimonials” for the advertising campaign Jägermeister Cosi fan tutti. Later she was in charge of looking for non-professional models and began offering the street-casting service, which back then was quite innovative. During her career – which ended in 2004 – she collaborated with the main creative advertising agencies present on the national scene including DDB, Leo Burnett, Pirella & Göttsche, Publicis, Publimarket, STZ, J Walter Thompson and TBWA.
Jean-Pierre Maurer was born in Oberdiessbach – Bern, Switzerland – in 1942. He graduated in Photography from the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Zurich in 1964. After completing his studies he worked for five years as a photographer at one of the major advertising agencies in Zurich, Geisler & Geisler. In 1969 Maurer moved to Milan where he opened a photographic studio with his wife Françoise Seiterle and began a long-lasting collaboration with Ettore Sottsass. Between 1974 and 1987 he became the sole author of the photographs of the Bevo Jägermeister perchè and shot more than 1,500 portraits in thirteen years. In his long career Maurer collaborated with prestigious companies, including Alessi, Artemide, Audi, Bulgari, Fiat, Flos, Fratelli Rossetti, IBM, Microsoft, Nestlé, Olivetti, Timberland, and Volkswagen. He received numerous industry awards for his work in advertising such as the Epica, Pro Foto, Kodak Award and awards by the Italian Art Directors Club.
Karl Schmid is a South Tyrolean entrepreneur. For the entire period, between 1974 and 1987, he was the buyer of the Bevo Jägermeister campaign. After being in charge of the distribution of wine and liqueurs to hotels and restaurants in the area since the late 1950s, Schmid began in 1962 to import Jägermeister exclusively for Italy. Given the success of the amaro on the Italian market in 1969, the first production began in Postal and then from 1972 until 1994, in the large factory in Salorno where it produced over 7 million bottles a year. Schmid is also a wine producer – with the Rametz Castle estates in Maia Alta and Castel Monreale in Trentino – and a hotel entrepreneur. In the early 1980s he opened Villa Eden in Merano.
Michele Galluzzo is a graphic designer and researcher. After a degree in Communication Sciences at the University of Salento and a master’s degree at the ISIA of Urbino, in 2018 he completed his PhD in Design Sciences at the IUAV in Venice. From 2014 to 2017 he was research assistant and graphic designer at the AIAP Historical Archive in Milan. Since 2018 he has been part of the editorial board of the international graphic magazine “Progetto Grafico”. Since autumn 2019 he has curated the Instagram page @logo_irl and in 2020 he founded – together with Franziska Weitgruber – the design / research duo Fantasia Type. From October 2020 he is RTD at the UniBZ in Bolzano / Bozen.
Stefano Riba is a cultural designer, art technician and teacher. After his first experiences at the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, the Merz Foundation, the Giorgio Persano gallery, in 2012 he founded the independent Van Der space in Turin. Between 2014 and 2018 he was the curator of the series of Alpine themed exhibitions and residences “Erratic Passes”. Since 2016 he has lived in Bozen where he has collaborated with Museion and the Rorhof publishing house. He is currently a lecturer at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, collaborates in the production of the exhibition projects at ar/ge kunst and is co-creator, together with Claudia Polizzi, of the handyhands.it project and of the Di / Da and Alti Piani exhibition series. Cosi fan tutti is the fourth exhibition he has created together with Foto Forum.
Catalogue: Skinnerboox, Foto Forum
With the support of: Autonomous Province of Bolzano, City of Bolzano