When asked where I come from, obviously I answer from Italy. But at some point I realized that the "Italy" people imagine does not include the area I come from.
I come from Southern Italy, and after having lived elsewhere for most of my life, the question of the South, or "la questione meridionale" as Italian politicians and sociologists from the late 19th century onwards used to call it, began to occupy my mind.
The idea of the South corresponds to a stereotype constructed of tourism, of sea and sun, as much as of archaism, lack of development or even poverty. But the South is pretty much a construction, in many regards imaginary, resembling the Orient in the approach of Edward Said.
South Italy is not any longer the place described by Carlo Levi in the 1930s. Epochs and stratifications were layered over the campania felix where Goethe once travelled or on the Greek colonies of Magna Grecia. Naples is no longer the place described by Anna Maria Ortese in her short stories after the war, nor has it remained in the condition that Jessy White Mario reported at the end of the 19th century. The Italian South looks very different from the place where I grew up. Yet, history has left its traces.
Lungomare is the title of a 6-hour long video, documenting a 100 kilometer-long walk carried out in 10 days around the Bay of Naples. I am followed by the camera along the seafront and along the fences, the walls and the buildings that block the view to the sea. The perspective always stays the same, looking towards the Gulf and following the closest way to the sea, even though it is rarely accessible.
The video screen is part of a sculptural element painted with limewash; in my memories, my grandmother used to refresh her Trullo every summer with the same type of paint. The structure creates a situation of inside and outside. Next to it, a collage shows a flow of visual associations constructed around a photograph taken in the streets of Naples.
My walk along the Gulf can be seen as a performance referring to land-art, but it is not concentrated primarily on nature. It shows the area in its political reality shaped by economic interests, as a social landscape.