3, 2, 1… FIRE!
Performance artistica, Moso in Passiria
di Andrea Botto
Video Full HD, 13’32’
A large landslide with colossal boulders measuring and sometimes exceeding 500-1000 cu.m. blocked the only access road to the hamlet of Rabenstein in Moso in Passiria (BZ - North Italy). The largest boulders lay on a steep craggy slope and so it was feared that they might roll downhill and engulf the public road. The size of the boulders, combined with the difficulty in gaining access to them, as well as the lack of dwellings or other buildings in the vicinity, led Civil Protection to commission a company specialised in demolitions using explosives with the aim of removing the danger.
The alpine environment lacking dwellings combined with the need to use excessive amounts of explosive due to the difficulty in gaining access and therefore in boring, provided an opportunity to plan an artistic performance around the act of demolition. That is to say it was possible to seal the top of the shot hole filled with explosives with white quartz powder mixed with powdered natural dyes. The detonation of the explosive and the gas it released then volatilised the powdered dyes creating colourful puffs. The expulsion of gases was maximised by combining the dynamite with black explosive powder which, despite having less energy, releases a greater quantity of gas.
The performance was made possible thanks to the close technical cooperation with professional Blaster Giacomo Nardin. The event took place on the 15th of October 2013 and it was photographed and filmed from start to finish in high definition.
Andrea Botto was born in 1973 in Rapallo (Genova), where he lives and works. Interested in the cross-pollination of various contemporary art mediums, he uses photography as a means of dissecting the world in order to express its complexity and to expose its stratifications. Time, collective imaginary, as well as the current transformations that mark the present age are the key themes of his work, which explores the unstable equilibrium that governs the landscape, through the aesthetics of destruction. His projects have been exhibited in international museums, including Bundeskusthalle in Bonn (2005), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2005), Stiftung Kultur in Cologne (2006), MAXXI Museum in Rome (2007-2016), Fundacion Canal in Madrid (2007), MoCA in Shanghai (2010), Villa Croce in Genoa and Benaki Museum in Athens (2015). Along with the artistic research, Botto usually gives lectures and educational workshops and he curates several cultural projects. From 2006 to 2011 he was the artistic director of the Rapallo Contemporary Photography Festival. He taught at IED in Turin and at Fondazione Fotografia in Modena. He is one of the founding members of the art collective Fotoromanzo Italiano. His works have been acknowledged by grants and awards internationally and are to be found in private and public collections. Among his publications: the highly acclaimed 19.06_26.08.1945 (Danilo Montanari Editore, 2014), which awarded third prize at Fotobookfestival Kassel Dummy Award and it was shortlisted for the Paris Photo-Aperture First Book Award, and KA-BOOM The Explosion of Landscape (Èditions Bessard, 2017) shortlisted for the Photo-text Book Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles.