International Documentary Project Invisible Cities in Italy

The phenomenon of mono-cities originated in the post-Soviet era when industrial cities stopped being associated with prosperity and promising future. They were first mentioned in 2008, after the social and economic crisis in Pikalyovo that forced the Russian Government to make a list of 27 cities and towns needing financial assistance. Being the tools for building a new world they became some ballast for the modern economy. The life in such cities is spent in accordance with a special script. The virtual wellbeing of the majority of the population is trapped in historical and personal memory, in an attitude towards work, homeland and family’s future and in other objective circumstances.

Exhibitions of project Invisible Cities are created by independent photographers and journalists. Thanks to them, everyone can go on a fast trip to mono-cities making them a part of the personal experience, feelings and thoughts. The stories of the photos open a veil of everyday life and real simplistic events. It is seemed that after some time the dilapidated house will tell you an exciting story of its youth and people’s faces will show vivid emotions.

Venue – Expanding Boundaries

This year, the venue of the project is going to be a town of free artists, Bussana Vecchia or “Old Bussana”, that is 10 km from Sanremo. The symbolism of this place conveys the atmosphere of the exhibition and one of the purposes – to explore the mono-city as a cultural and social phenomenon through the personal experience, studying and thinking.

Since the end of 19 century after the severe earthquake, Bussana has remained abandoned giving up to nature. Only in the 60s of 20 century the town got its second life. And this is all thanks to independent artists taking fancy to the picturesque place for living and creating.

Their effort turned Bussana into one of the iconic sights of Italy. Every street displays a special coloring of the age-old history. Time seems to stand still here. Old paving stone, forged grills in the lanes, the walls overgrown with ivy… the town can be boldly called an open-air museum where you can walk for hours admiring the symbiosis of historic heritage and modern art.

Features of Exposition

The exhibition presents only black-and-white photos. Such format lets follow a visual contrast between the Russian mono-city and atmosphere prevailing in Bussana Vecchia. Besides, black-and-white pictures are deprived of negative coloring regarding the Russian reality. The contrasting color range shows how different small cities and how unusual their architecture, climate and way of living can be.

The complete exposition is formed by six diversified histories dispersing throughout Bussana Vecchia. The guide specially prepared for the event helps understand the route. The booklet allows to learn more about the Italian town, as well as mono-cities in Russia.

The exposition presents photos from Sokol, Cherepovets, Nizhni Tagil, Emva, Satka, Syasstroy, Pikalyovo and other Russian mono-cities.

The exhibition will take place from 1 August to 25 August 2017.

Partner: Independent media project on contemporary art Art Uzel