Observing, comparing, noting and documenting landscape changes at regular intervals through photography.
These four sequential stages underlie a current project named Empty Northwest, a work started last year whose aim is to investigate a rather defined area of southwest Piedmont, situated in the province of Cuneo.
The basic idea was inspired by the fact that in a very short time lapse this area underwent a major landscape change, due to the construction of a highway section. This is certainly not an extraordinary event, nevertheless it pushed me to consider how this portion of landscape – essentially geared to agriculture from time immemorial – has been suddenly overturned compared to the way it looked like until a very few years ago.
Razed, levelled and cemented, this area has been deeply transformed, following to a certain extent the footsteps of many other places scattered across Italy and Europe, where vast agricultural regions have turned into an actual ‘non-place’, thus being only suitable for (road and rail) communication routes or rows of industrial sheds looking like huge ‘boxes’ that just don’t belong the surrounding environment.
Over the last years the social discourse focused chiefly on Northeast Italy, much less on the Northwest. Nevertheless it looks as if the natural landscape that identifies both of these macro areas of the Italian peninsula was fatally intended for (totally similar) mutations. Owing to an aggressive so as destructive economic growth, able to ‘empty’ these landscapes of their authentic meaning, these areas look like vast and monotonous expanses in a never-ending land studded with human constructions.
The collection of photographic documentation will go on in the next months and will concern other landscape portions. The idea is to build a database of pictures of the present time to be compared later to historical snapshots from the archives taken in the same area.
Please note: all images and texts are protected by Copyright and belong to the Artist.