an investigation about Carrara marble quarries in the Apuan Alps in northern Italy
Collaborative project with Bärbel Praun
in progress, since 2020
Video, photography, performance and sound
Funded by Stiftung Kulturwerk and VG Bild-Kunst Germany
The Carrara marble is one of the most popular and valuable types of marble in the world due to its whiteness, the absence of grains and impurities and its fine-grained structure. In the quarries – around 650, two thirds of which have been shut down or hollowed out – 5 million tons of marble are now mined annually for the world market in construction and calcium carbonate industries. With a turnover of 8 billion euros per year, the marble industry is a massively powerful one: work in the quarries that violate the law is the order of the day, local politics has come to terms – or gets involved. It’s an illegal quiet network selling itself as a business of integrity.
Marble mining and the further processing of the rock waste has transformed the region strongly: soil and water pollution, desertification, vulnerable karst ecosystems, massive disturbance of fauna and flora habitat and biodiversity are only a few environmental impacts caused by the excessive and irreversible human action of quarrying activities. Confronting themselves with both the sublime and shocking experience of the irresistible charisma of the white marble and the anthropogenic landscape, the artists encounter their feelings of loss and grief, and explore possibilities of care and resilience. Using the microcosm of scarred mountainsides, they address the global phenomenon of man-made alteration of nature and connection with place, and involve themselves in responding, interacting and performing in a wounded landscape.
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