e n o a ,
t h e s e w i n g l i n e b e t w e e n
h a r b o u r a n d c i t y -
A d o c u m e n t a r y c o m m i s s i o n
f r o m S t e f a n o B o e r i f o r
t h e p l a n n i n g a ge n c y , P o r t
A u t h o r i t y , G e n o a ,
n o v . , d e c . 1 9 9 7
This commission was put up very early in the conception
process by the urbanists team. Two photographers and two writers were
invited to work about the identity of a
harbour in strong evolution.
The work is constituted of two sets of photographs:
- portraits of port-workers and views of the districts they live in,
-an ensemble of 106 photographs describing
the contact line between city and port
photographs are set geographically, starting at Palazzo San Giorgio
(Port Authority headquarters), going south, under the sopraelevata (an
overpassing highway) -
on harbour territory-
then going back north, by the corniche road -city territory-.
Here, the city is completely cut from the sea.
Near the old harbour, the city has allready taken back the port territory (cinemas, restaurant, aquarium, skating rink) .
The two series produce random interactions in the visual space ( wall or opposite pages in the printed form ).
To point the singular
configurations along this contact zone, I decided to walk along this
line, going through the "border" like the thread in sewing, seeing the same places
from one side and the other.
I worked with a large format view camera on tripod which gave me weight, dteadiness, precision and a better physical feeling of the territory.
The question of the sopraelevata was a very important one: It is a beautiful, brutal, ambiguous monument.
On it, you can pass through Genoa very fast and still have a very complex and true perception of the city.
Around it weave the questions of public-private, under-over, light-shade...
As one can see, the question was not to collect architectural objects because the spirit of the place was what had to be saved.
Here was a place of economical and political conflicts.
A very precise, rigorous but also poetic work could help make the step aside that changes perspective.
Still, political will and courage are needed to consider the answer in all its complexity.
One can then see reality, more than reality, the stage setting of the urban theatre; trails for the future of the city.