History Never Looks Us in the Eyes


A series of 13 color ink-jet prints 32x46 cm each; HD video, sound, 20'39'' (loop); widescreen monitor, stereo headphones; dimensions 250x220 cm approx.

Fragment, 5'50"

The project engages with the interpersonal relations that may follow from the various ways of visual interpretation of certain urban structure in the city of Bologna. In this case a simple touristic map taken from the information office has been used as a reference point. Among other things, the map shows a boulevard called "viale", which circles around the central historical part of the city. The "viale" draws a hexagon like shape where 12 placers along its path are marked as existing gates or "porta".

The gates must have had specific functions in the past as entrance/exits to the city. The present has transformed them into perfectly restored architectural monuments, whose functions are now purely symbolical. However, it turned out that two of the gates do not exist anymore although on the map they are marked as still there. These two gates had been physically demolished but their places are still referred to by their original names "Porta..." as all others that are still there.

The aim of the project is to make some research by asking several questions. Why and when those gates had been demolished? Was there any justified cause and if yes, what was it? Has the whole structure been disturbed by removing these concrete elements from it? How is this perceived in general? Do people really see this lack? What about the historical heritage? And most importantly if the non-existence of these two gates is seen as the absence of an essential part taken out from the otherwise so well preserved historical city?

This research is presented in the form of video documentation and photographs. It was filmed among different people from the city, mainly people working in the areas around the missing gates – in small shops, restaurants, bars, etc. as well as among professionals who are engaged with urban environment and development.

The work is installed directly on the wall. The monitor is in the middle, while the prints are arranged around it and some of them overlap. In that way they compose "chaotic" installation with main part and side elements.

The project is implemented in cooperation with Giusy Checola.

Installation views. Neon Campobase Gallery, Bologna, Italy, July 2010 (in the framework of the Artist in Residence program at Nosadella.due, Bologna)

Installation views