Stolen Stones (04'02")
video Furio Ganz
music Yakamoto Kotzuga
voice Lauren Clare
graphic design and printing Camilla Rigo Langé
text Giuliano Tarlao
February 2022: on show Spazio Punch - BelMondo
I visited the archaeological area of Pompeii, imagining an imminent volcanic eruption from Vesuvius.
I wanted to film the ancient city before this imaginary catastrophic event happened, with the aim of shooting material that gave a sense of the everyday life of the place.
I explored the city together with other tourists, crossing with them what remained of the settlement.
It was while observing some of them posing for the ritual souvenir photograph that I noticed how the elements for securing the architecture, together with abandoned personal objects, were now part of what was once the buried city. I worked out the idea that led me there, to the catastrophic point of a lava eruption that, at that very moment, would have incorporated the stones that are over two thousand years old together with the plastic and lithium knowingly or unknowingly lost today.
Before leaving the city, I collected six of these objects, taking them away from the Archaeological Park, challenging the curse of Pompeii which, according to legend, was haunting with a fate of bad luck those who stole relics of the ancient city.
In the small museum of the Archaeological Park I read letters sent by some stone thieves who after the theft were convinced that they had been hit by the curse and hoping to avert the sentence they promptly returned the stolen souvenirs, attaching brief notes on the tragic events related to the event. «Since taking the stones my friend’s father died suddenly and unexpectedly, another friend, another friend’s Grandmother died (although she was quite old), my neighbor’s dog died and although he was aging, he was fine when we left for our vacation. There was a military coup in Turkey the day before we were supposed to visit, there were several horrid terrorist attacks across Europe (…)»* *taken from one of the letters preserved in the museum of the archaeological park of Pompeii. In Stolen Stones the letter is read in its entirety and outlines the narration of the video.
Installation view at BelMondo - Spazio Punch, curated by Augusto Maurandi and Giulia Morucchio, set-up by Zaven © photo courtesy Spazio Punch