First of all apologies for the lack of photos in this blog entry. I somehow managed to lose almost all the photos I took and all the videos I recorded since the start of Red Van part 2... Bloody HD...
After four days in Guidaloca we are finally back on the road. It feels great to be cramped into the back of the van with Sagio's painting hanging on Chiara's wall and diagrams, drawings and stuff on my wall. It takes a while to get used to this lifestyle again but this is what travelling is all about: change.
Today we are driving to Gibellina, a town that was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1968 and then re-built a few kilometers away. The great Italian artist Alberto Burri proposed to plaster the ruins with concrete, creating a cracked landscape, Cretto di Burri, apparently one of the world's largest public art works. You can read more about the history and the background of this town elsewhere, for example HERE. I would rather talk about how we felt being here.
An extraordinary sight, a sensation of death and eternity cast in concrete as you walk along the traces of the old narrow streets, now carved like cracks. I climbed out of the crack on the concrete platform. From here you can see more. It's like standing in a desert. I have decided to record sound and video here for my projects 60 and Nomadic Encounter. I am not sure if I will use it as I feel that my work would have no significance at all compared to the strength and sad background of Burri's work.
From here we are making our way to the new town which is filled with public artworks, a contemporary art museum which we cannot visit as it has been closed for a while for refurbishments and the Fondazione Orestiadi that houses different contemporary works of art as well as historical artifacts. The whole collection is very weirdly curated and put together. There are no visitors, only two skinny chaps in their twenties who sort of work here. They open the two galleries for us. The first gallery: Dusty, badly lit, famous artworks in broken plastic frames, old books; the second gallery: large, Arabic music, big sculptures, golden, grotesque, dark. It's all about destruction and eternity, resistance and struggle (in response to the earthquake).
The town itself is almost deserted, post-apocalyptic. Wide and empty roads, small concrete houses. We decide to camp a bit outside town and arrive at an abandoned farm house. It's a nice spot apart from all the condoms and beer bottles. We hate it and return into town where we are staying near the back of the modern church and semi-occupied houses.
Before leaving Gibellina we spend a few hours exploring this town, filming, taking photos, recording sound, mixing paint.