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La città personale

guendalina salini monteruga 1.jpeg



video installation

duration 10'


A journey through dreamlike images that emerge in an abandoned town, a reflection on the becoming of things, accompanied by the italian writer Buzzati's words, the description of an abandoned,nostalgic, silent city.

A place, first and foremost physical and then geographical: the Arneo in Salento with its Mediterranean brightness where memories sparkle and a place that is also a dimension of the spirit, painful and alienating, from which questions without answers erupt.

What does this deserted city whisper to us? What is it that we have abandoned?

It seems like the set of a western film, where the final clash awaits, but who was supposed to clash with whom?

We forgot about it, it seems to no longer be relevant…

We have emptied the ideal city and with it the ideals to defend have vanished, the good and the bad... they have all disappeared!

There are still road signs that lead us here, but what do they lead us to?

To a void, to a disorientation, to an uninhabited utopia.

“Utopia does nothing but make concrete and plastic the very ancient and widespread yearning for a better life” writes Savinio.

In Puglia the agrarian reform did not find its direct application, given that when it was about to be definitively approved, the Stralcio law did not mention any locality in Puglia and especially in Salento. It was then that a popular and political mobilization arose in the province of Lecce for the expansion of the law also to the territory of Arneo owned by some landowners such as Baron Tamborino. These popular unrest are remembered as the occupation of Arneo which reached its peak between 1947 and 1951. In the end, Salento and Puglia also fell within the political project of the Segni law.

Monteruga was a large agricultural company with a school, church, barracks and after-work club.

In the 1950s, the years of the economic boom, a community of 800 people lived in the village.

Then the farmers leave the fields for the cities, and nature takes back its spaces.

Everything falls apart and is abandoned, the utopia that was the agrarian reform breaks down, the architecture of these desolate and uninhabited places falls to pieces.

As in a game, the artist and his daughter Anita re-inhabit the spaces to tell them and make them come to life with their passage. A game that by bringing life here wants to plant a small seed for new growth.

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