The project, which will be presented for the first time in a dedicated monographic exhibition in the spaces of Studio Gibel in Palermo, will start in 2013 to intercept geopolitical issues related to the territory, the community economy and the flow of workers involved.
June 24 – September 14, 2018
via Vittorio Emanuale 484, Palermo
The project analyzes how the architectural structures used relate to the urban and rural landscape, deeply influencing its morphology. The greenhouses represent a repetitive and monotonous architecture that leaves a profound impression on the topography of the place, their presence in specific territories is determined by climatic factors and geopolitical conditions. Cambiaggi, which grew up in Liguria, a region known for the cultivation of flowers, gives this theme a breath for now European and soon worldwide.
In Liguria, the greenhouses, which punctuate the territory extensively, become a form of agricultural urbanization, in open conflict with the surrounding landscape. From these places, strongly compromised by the flower industry, now in economic decline, the photographic research of the Genoese author begins, according to a project in constant growth. Over time, the research from Italy extends to the Netherlands that maintains the highest concentration of greenhouses in the world, and then to analyze the case of the province of Almeria in Spain, extreme for the relationship between landscape and agricultural industry in the nursery.
Here Cambiaggi documents that area of about 200 km2 dramatically invaded by greenhouses with polyethylene covers known as El mar de plástico, where the production of vegetables is guaranteed at low costs, thanks to the use of workers from Africa and Europe of the East living in structures built between greenhouses. From Spain, the research returns to Italy, on the occasion of the photo campaign The Third Island, curated by Antonio Ottomanelli and conducted with 10 other authors, focusing on the Calabrian territory, a landscape transformed and abandoned, a land in which the hopes of business and growth they seem totally lost.
The path traced by the Cambiaggi photographic survey allows us to travel through extremely different territories, following a mapping in progress that becomes a tool to highlight the landscape, economic and political peculiarities of the places encountered. “The work on greenhouses” as Federico Nicolao writes, “was born to try to narrate a situation that has the traits of the extraordinary and the everyday but that actually allows the photographic medium to identify not a few similarities with the condition of man: from comfort to imprisonment, from care to exploitation, from valorisation to abandonment, from use to free development, from isolation to community life. ”
In the exhibition, large-format photos unfold within an apartment of a fifteenth-century building in the center of Palermo, which houses Studio Gibel, the interdisciplinary collective founded by Oli Bonzanico, Delfino Sisto Legnani, Dario Nepoti, Francesco Venezia. The images build a dialogue with a singular place, in his daily life, inviting the visitor to travel the space and to build their own narration, starting from the landscape.
Gaia Cambiaggi was born in 1977 in Genoa, where she lives and works. Artist and photographer, his work mainly concerns architecture, the city and the anthropized landscapes observed in relation to the communities that live there. Among the most recent exhibitions in Italy, The Third Island, La Triennale di Milano and Verso il Mediterraneo. Landscape sections from Salerno to Reggio Calabria, Central Institute for Graphics, Rome, in collaboration with MAXXI. Abroad his work has been exhibited at the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism and at Experimenta (Lisbon Design Biennial). His photographs have been published in magazines, books, newspapers and art editorials including The New York Times, The Guardian, Domus, Abitare, Monocle, Rolling Stone, Icon Design, Tank, Citizen K and many others.