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“Are they rocks or clouds?” is a territorial investigation in the Dolomites that aims, through the interaction between observation, memory and science, to the construction of a knowledge of hydrogeological risk. The concepts put into play are those of contamination, overlayering and the spatial map.
Moving away from a natural fascination for the mountains, the project clearly observes the territory, looking for the possibility of measuring the risk for the inhabitants of the places where a catastrophe is supposed to happen.
Over time – according to Amitav Ghosh in “The Great Blindness” – nature has been handed over to science, remaining precluded to culture. We are not finished in this condition for a mistake: the abyss that today dividing nature from culture is the result of one of the original impulses of modernity. A division that has led to the detachment of art from scientific and climate issues and from political and economic debate.
With the project “Are they rocks or clouds?” Caneve experiments with the use of photography as an autonomous observation tool within an interdisciplinary research process, questioning its own position in relation to other instruments. The project is born in view of a catastrophic event, which according to geological studies, will happen in 50 years: natural disasters have cyclic return times. In particular, according to some geological studies, the 1966 hydro-geological catastrophe will have a return time of 100 years, 50 from today. The estimated damages will be 2 or 3 times higher.
The archival material come from private archives and represents how inhabitants perceived the catastrophes in the past. The project is carried out in collaboration with the geologist Emiliano Oddone and the anthropologist Annibale Salsa.
Marina Caneve, Are They Rocks or Clouds?
English with booklet in
Text by Emiliano Oddone, Annibale Salsa, and Taco Hidde Bakker
Design Hans Gremmen
22 x 28 cm
160 pages, colour