A project by Patrizia Santangeli and Gabriele Rossi
Curated by Chiara Cavallo
Opening and talk on Wednesday, September 14 2016 at 6 p.m.
Open to the public September 15 – 30, 2016
Gabriele Rossi, Monte Inferno, Sus scropha Linnaeus, 2016
On Wednesday September 14th 2016, at 6:00 pm, AlbumArte will open Monte Inferno, a project by director Patrizia Santangeli and photographer Gabriele Rossi, curated by Chiara Cavallo
You won’t find it on any map, but Monte Inferno exists. It’s the site of a landfill, a mound of garbage and indifference where for the past 30 years toxic waste has been concealed and dumped secretly during the night.
Monte Inferno is located in the center of Italy.Waste was first dumped here in the 1970s and disposal continues today causing severe damage to the environment and serious health issues to the people who live here. The aquifers are polluted, as is the Astura River that runs along the hill and flows into the sea. The wind carries polluted air into the homes of those who live near the dumpsite and the economy in the area has plummeted. In 1994 Camorra informant Carmine Schiavone stated that in the late 1980s, toxic waste had been buried in the area, and in 1995 Don Cesare Boschin, the Borgo Montello parish priest who had publicly denounced the trafficking of toxic waste in the area, was murdered. The investigation into his death was closed after a few months and no one was charged.
It all begins in 2013 with the location, because geography knows no justice. The landfill may be omnipresent, but it is hidden from sight. Monte Inferno is a location rich in facts, news, things that happen but the project will focus on the things that don’t happen, on the immobility in which the people in the area live, on the human nature of people who had chosen farmland on which to live by and wound up with worthless poisoned earth. People who in the past had high hopes for the future.
Multiple ways of telling the story of a place: Documentary | Photography | Multimedia Video | Journal | Illustrations | Sounds | Postcards | Geographical explorations
A collective work: Patrizia Santangeli – director, Gabriele Rossi – photographer, Massimo Calabro – illustrator and graphic designer, Bonifacio Pontonio – graphic designer, Roberto Fanfarillo – graphic designer, Giancarlo Bovina – geologist.
The project received the patronage of Assessorato alle Attività Produttive, Cultura e Sport – Municipio II of Roma Capitale and the patronage of MAP – Museo Agro Pontino, that hosted the exhibition Monte Inferno in 2016.
Thanks to Ciotola Brothers and their wine Torleanzi
«Monte Inferno is the new name of an old landfill. If I had to choose a sound to describe the documentary, I have no doubt it would be silence. In school we are taught that the sum of all colors, at the end, is white, likewise silence sums up everything I have heard at the foot of Monte Inferno. The documentary is for me an instrument to step against the indifference that affect of all us. It is a landfill, but it could have been a war, a famine, a crime story or something else. I find nothing human in that solidarity which only trigger based on proximity, we live a time of shared information and everything concern us all». (Patrizia Santangeli)
«An observatory that wants to project new possibilites and spaces, away from the solely identification of a pile of scraps on a mountain. The geography of a small village has been changed to a point that it is now impossible to recognize the identity that it used to represent. It produced landscapes that are no longer visible to the naked eye, lost in a memory, framed in an oracle. The inhabitants, mostly from Veneto and Emilia, arrived in the thirties after the promises of propaganda, they find themself today living together with an obsession. They are living apart from plots of land that can not be farmed, forcing their habitat into an empty room, far away from history, which over time has resulted in social and environmental devastation » . (Gabriele Rossi)
«AlbumArte is involved in the arts and culture. In this project, Patrizia Santangeli’s artistic work and Gabriele Rossi’s pictures combine with videos, illustrations and evidences of the people that inhabitate a site that has become a place from which to escape, the name itself doesn’t sound promising: Monte Inferno (Hell Mountain). Before the landfill existed, before the stinging smell, before the toxic exhalations, the place didn’t have this name, and the ground was still florid for agriculture. People living in the Agro Pontino (Pontine Marshes) is used to hard work and sacrifice, they have been sent in that area in times when no one really wanted to settle there, chosen among the poorest communities of the country. Many came from Veneto, very poor in the thirties of the last century, others from Emilia’s countryside, where they had no future. These people had survived the exploitation and misery occurred in between the two world wars, as Florestano Vancini also describes in the great film La neve nel bicchere (1984). As if they were settlers, they recreated a simple life in the new land, working diligently as self-employed farmers, after having reclaimed the area from the swamps and malaria that was affecting the people who resided there before them. For many years now they are no longer able to cultivate the land, but they can not even leave since the value of what they have built for three generations over the years has been tragically destroyed by the toxicity of the landfill and they have no resources to start again elsewhere. Now the landfill has become a real torment for those people. A woman obsessively films every day the arrival of the screaming seagulls, a man snaps daily polaroid on nothing, that nothing that has become the motif of their existences. They are waiting for justice, but which one? This new exhibition hosted by AlbumArte, with the patronage of Museo dell’Agro Pontino that presented the same show a few months ago and since then has enriched with further interesting details, is a social, political and ecological project. Art feeds and delights us, but we also want to remember social injustices and natural disasters, reflecting on the living conditions of people that are so close to us. We will show our engagement through photos, illustrations and videos, the vision of a future, the one of the two artists, our language, but also through the woman’s video of the seagulls, the man’s Polaroid pictures, maps of the pollution, a meeting with a local resident that will offer his testimony on September 14th at 6:00 pm, during our investigative talk. We want to prove that even inside an art space it can be possible to talk about something that is destroying the life of many ». (Cristina Cobianchi)
Exhibition: Monte Inferno
Curator: Chiara Cavallo
Location: AlbumArte – Via Flaminia 122, Rome
Talk: Wednesday September 14th 2016 at 6:00 pm
Opening: Wednesday September 14th 2016, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Open to public: 15 – 30 September 2016
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 3:00 pm -7:00 pm (or by appointment)
Information: telephone +39 06 3243882 | email@example.com | www.albumarte.org
office: +39 06 4825370 – mobile phone: + 39 335 490311