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Monday, 22 May 2017

Giuseppe Iannello and The Dying Memories of Gibellina

All images by Giuseppe Ianello

The end of the academic year is coming and so it's time to start showing the work of the final year students on the Documentary Photography course I teach on in Cardiff, formerly at Newport (it moved.)

It's a tricky time for students because this is when you have to transfer your voice to something more attuned to the art/gallery/commercial/funding and publishing worlds, it's the time when you have to accelerate your workflow and adjust who you are working for, who you are talking to,

In previous years, there have been students whose best work was really still in the making, or was yet to come, or had not been expressed in the manner most suited to meet new audience's needs and expectations. But that's all part of the process and in the last year or two, the high-profile recognition our recent students have had is unprecedented (Bar Tur, Jerwood, Firecracker, BJP Breakthrough, Hyeres, Deutsche Bank)- and we get the feeling that the best is yet to come. So our current students have something to live up to.

And they do, starting with Giuseppe Iannello whose work focuses on Gibellina in Sicily, a town that was flattened in an earthquake in 1968. It's a project about what happens when your town is destroyed and your memories gradually wither away.

It's a beautiful project where the archival images that Giuseppe projected onto the brutalist concrete structure (the Cretto di Burri) that was built on the ruins of the destroyed town decay in the crumbling cement of the concrete monument; a poetic and moving portrayal of memory and loss if ever I saw one. This is how Giuseppe describes it

Gibellina 1968 otto minuti dopo le tre

At eight minutes past three on 15th January 1968, the small Sicilian town of Gibellina was destroyed in an earthquake.

In the aftermath of the quake, a new town was built and the population moved 20km. A huge brutalist concrete land installation was built on the old site (designed by Alberto Burri) as a memorial to the death and destruction of 1968.  But in new Gibellina, as the population aged, the memory of old Gibellina was gradually lost.

This project combines images of both Gibellinas. Incorporating projected images of the pre-earthquake town on Burri’s land installation with images of new Gibellina, an economically depressed and isolated town that is being destroyed by its present, it tells a story of lost nostalgia, lost memory and a disappearing way of life. 

Contact Giuseppe at giu.iannello@gmail.com

Follow Documentary Photography's 3rd Years at Two Eyes Serve a Movement on Instagram here

And see their work on show opening 16th June at Seen Fifteen Gallery, Peckham. We'd love to see you there so come and say hello!


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