For hundreds of years Catholic Neapolitans have gathered around for ‘la smorfia’, a bingo-game, where dreams are associated with the numbers 1 to 90. ‘La Mamma’ is 52, if she is laughing, the number is 9, meaning fertility. The cat is 3, the child is 2 and 89 “la vecchia”, is the old woman. The lottery spans your whole life. From naked birth to naked death, through hard times and warm summer nights. René Beekvelt often visited the city of Naples. He wandered around through the narrow streets where there is unlikely chaos. He felt the fear of being robbed, but also intensely enjoyed the sincerity of the Neapolitans and all facets of life taking place so openly.
Smorfia contains 2 perforated printing sheets with in total 42 bingo cards. The sheets are folded and wrapped in a transparent sleeve. The bingo cards show all meanings of the numbers in the game, and the references to the corresponding images on the front of the cards.
René Beekvelt (Edam, 1959) is an autodidact photographer. He is involved with street and human interest photography and is interested in the public life in the raw class neighborhoods to be found in Naples. His small stature and shy appearance masks a fairly assertive approach. He encounters the people in the neighborhoods which he surprises by giving them printed pictures from a earlier visits.