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curated by Pippo Ciorra, Carlo Birrozzi in collaboration with Cristiana Colli
Three great photographers recount a changing landscape.
Olivo Barbieri, Paola De Pietri and Petra Noordkamp are the first artists involved in the Terre in movement project.
Three artist for a photographic commission surveying the landscape of the Marche region, promoted by the Superintendency forArchaeology, Fine Arts and the Landscape of theMarche and by MAXXI, that present an overview of the landscapes, works of art, ruins, new and fragile settlements and the people inhabiting them, in the area devastated by the 2016 earthquake.A selection of works from the project will be acquired for the MAXXI Collection.
In 2015 Olivo Barbieri had already investigated the area of Marche, exploring from above the long urban conurbation which defines the so-called Adriatic City, a huge area which runs from Vasto to Ravenna. Two years on from that project, Barbieri returns to the now wounded areas of Marche and gives us a multifaceted image, which reveals the lacerations on the ground. His work oscillates between three different and complementary observation points: from above, which reveals on the large scale the extent of the disaster; from ground level, where it still seems possible to identify with the Renaissance perspectives which shaped the look of Italian urban culture, and that close-up to works of art recovered from the rubble and restored to life. The places are shot one year on from the earthquake: «The most interesting thing – says the artist – is that interruption, the silence which settles in when the media fervour of the event ends and we find ourselves asking: “Now what do we do?”. That is the most important moment, also because you can understand a great deal about the idea we have of the world, about what we would like to do…».
The images by Paola De Pietri were taken in the valleys of Tronto, Chienti and surrounding areas between October 2017 – one year after the earthquake – and May 2018. Her work focuses on the transformation of the space and the loss of reference points and private places for the people who lived in those areas and who now find their living space in a different geographic area. De Pietri photographed homes ripped apart by the quake, objects found, registered and catalogued in storage, worksites for the construction of the new provisional homes, imagining them above all as familial and private spaces which have been shattered and not yet rebuilt: «Here the dust of the stones of the old destroyed homes and the dust of the new excavations on the building sites seems to cover everything and makes everything the same, the old and the new». Besides the places, Paola De Pietri photographs people in the area of the new provisional homes, taking their pictures by day using a flash and «isolating them for a moment from everything».
The photography of Petra Noordkamp shows the interest of the Dutch author for the void, for the signs of the passage of time and for the persistence of memory. The artist focuses initially on the territory of Arquata del Tronto and Visso, exploring the private homes that were destroyed but are still full of objects which hark back to the everyday life which used to take place inside those buildings which are now frozen in time: it is these objects to which the artist decides to pay attention, recording and preserving their memory. Noordkamp then visits the deposits of Ancona and San Severino Marche where hundreds of items – sculptures and paintings – are in safe keeping, saved from devastated churches, portraying them wrapped in archiving paper and bubble wrap. Her filming delicately and respectfully enters these places which are still full of tension and life, albeit suspended in time.