April 24, 2016 - 25 July, 2016
The exhibition is spread out over ten spaces, each of which presents a particular aspect of Genova’s identity. Maintaining a constant dichotomy between past, present and future, the exhibition unfolds like a polyphonic composition, that interweaves historical images and images of the present with the aid of sophisticated interactive technologies. The exhibition captures the spectator’s senses and emotions while presenting the iconographical material in a very thoughtful and organic way. The spaces are turned into total environments and the video-projections place the spectator at the centre of the representation.
In A sea of ships, the section dedicated to the docks of Genova, the images projected onto the four sail-ships hanging over the space and the thick ropes hanging from the ceiling provide an immediate association with a port environment. When the visitor draws near and touches the ropes, the projections come to life and give accounts of significant episodes connected to the history of the port and its activities.
In Iron and steel, an installation reminiscent of the local steel and metal industry, the blinding blaze of the furnace attracts the visitor’s gaze while a deep cavernous sound seems to be hovering behind the curtain of images projected on three large screens: when the visitor draws near to the images a device is triggered and suddenly the sound to swells, filling the room. The sound and vibrations become physically tangible.
The wheels, propellers and cogs that feature in Machines provide an indication on the kinds of machines that were built in Genova and exported worldwide: machinery for energy production, for transportation and defence, right up to modern day electronic and computer systems. The moving propellers, triggered once again by the spectator, capture the video images, doubling as an unexpected projection screen.
Lastly, in Towards a postindustrial city, a skyline of the city materializes on two large screens. In the centre of the room, attached to a series of ropes, a few torches metaphorically delve into the city’s past: by casting their beam on certain details of the projected landscape they reveal other otherwise invisible images. A juxtaposition of past and present that highlights the recent transformations in the landscape and the urban society of Genova’s Ponente Industrial zone.
In the section on The future city, the space is dominated by a huge cylindrical structure into which the spectator may enter. The video-projections onto the walls of this structure reveal a large blackboard that envelopes the spectator. In the centre of the projection there is a cylinder on which one can make out a series of luminous inscriptions, when the spectator brushes by one of these an actor-presenter appears on the blackboard and leads the visitor into ideal conjecture on important issues that concern Genova’s future.