In the series Restless Home, I focus on places that do not appear as such, that in themselves are not hospitable, where one can neither dwell nor strike roots. Those are places of transition, „marginal places“, like the shelters or raised hides one encounters walking in the forest. They are inconspicuous, but they form the individual experience of a territorial context, the subjective image of an area, a place of transition, they represent the futile effort to set up a home, to feel secure in an unhomely world.
A major example for such places of transition is nature to that we feel related but to which we normally do not expose ourselves (what is more, we try to make ourselves independent of its laws). It becomes an abstraction, a place of desire that cannot be fulfilled. In my work, landscape „is the concrete setting for existence, a natural condition nourished by memory“ (Carlo Di Raco, catalogue „state of the arts“, Italian Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2012). The temporality of the forest transforms itself into space: an environment in constant mutation whose single parts are destined to perish.
This work refers to a mountain in the Vajont-valley in the Italian pre-alps. In the 1960ies a dam was built and the valley filled with water. The construction works caused an erosion, due to which a part of the mountain “Monte Toc” slid into the artificial lake. It caused an enormous wave that poured over the dam and flooded the valley on the other side. The air pressure and the mass of water destroyed the city of Longarone, 2.000 people died. The dam remained intact and still exists, on the soil that filled the valley due to the landslide a forest has grown. The city of Longarone was rebuilt, but the catastrophe is still present in the memory of its survivors.
The photographs are taken on the Lido beach in Venice, which is divided into a small public and a large private section. In the private section reserved to the guests of luxury hotels and private bathing establishments, only a strip of five meters from the shore is free for the public to pass. Whereas the public section is crowded with people during the hot season, the private section results almost empty, thus showing a modern social class distinction similar to that of past centuries, which only apparently has been overcome.
The Italian town Castellammare di Stabia, a few kilometres south from Naples, was an important thermal resort in the 19th century. Today it is a rather desolate place, except for some imposing, well restored buildings in the city centre. Due to industrial wastewater that has been discharged into the gulf of Naples near Castellammare through the river Sarno for decades, the coastal waters have long since been polluted. This has greatly contributed to the decline of the town. The photographs go with an excerpt from a travelogue of the German writer Fanny Lewald (Italienisches Bilderbuch, published 1847) and from a newspaper article on the river Sarno.
Installation, 14 digital prints, 30×40 cm each, 1 Stone, 2013
The images were taken in the region of the Italian mountain range of the “Monti Sibillini”, some years before the earthquake set in motion the entire region. The stone belonging to the installation was picked up in these mountains, its shape resembling a miniature mountain.