Working on an Artist Statement and set of images suitable for photography competitions but every one has slightly different requirements. Maximum 20, 15, 12, 8 , 6 images of varying sizes and dimensions, an artist statement of 250 words, 200 words, 1500 characters, 100 words… This is my 250 word statement and 8 image set.
This project is an exploration of specific buildings in Italy – predominantly on the coast – which were designed as children’s summer camps or colonie. The most notable structures were constructed during il ventennio – twenty years of Benito Mussolini’s fascism. They were built predominantly from concrete in line with modernist and rationalist tastes.
Today many share a state of decay and abandonment though remaining obstinately upright. Grandiose renovation schemes either got no further than the drawing board or else stalled prior to completion, perhaps forever tainted by their ideological associations.
Photographing abandoned buildings has become something of a cliché and they continue to lure would-be urban explorers and photographers, to the extent that ‘abandoned’ is perhaps now a misnomer.
I reinterpret these places by rejecting standard architectural approaches. I consider them as gallery spaces in which ‘exhibits’ have to be found or imagined, perhaps masquerading as fixtures and fittings or discarded items that resemble readymades in the manner of dada.
My work gains context through research into the history and usage of these places in which thousands of children spent their summers. I want to reveal their echoes, memories and ghosts while also acknowledging how they have changed over the intervening years.
I made the work through walking for miles along the coasts of Emilia Romagna, Le Marche, Tuscany and Liguria and in wooded mountains high above Genoa.