About This Project

Leaving the semi deserted highway that from Palermo leads to Mazara del Vallo, and past the last houses of Santa Ninfa, you have to take a dirt road, full of holes, mud and landslides, to reach the old settlement of Gibellina, destroyed by the 1968 earthquake.
After a few kilometers, Cretto di Burri suddenly appears, just after a bend. It is an impressive, surreal vision. Like a sheet laid out on the green of the hill. Burri has transformed tragedy into a work of art. He has compacted the rubble, tracing the map of the destroyed town, and then he has covered it with cement. He performed an exercise crystallizing memory and pain. The result was a footprint, like a shroud on the ruins of that small town.
Cretto is pure magic.
You have to go there, dive into those outlined streets, caress the physical matter of which it is made, listen to the silence of the wind. Only in this way is it possible to fully grasp the force that emanates from the place. It contains many meanings. It is a labyrinth, an architecture, a monument. It hides the remains of the town, but you never get the feeling of being in front of a gravestone. It’s more like a dream, a journey into the memory of time that carries a memory into the future
The Cretto is physical matter.
It is cement. Rough, porous. With the walls unpolished, as wanted by the artist. The physicality of the place almost seems to enfold you while you lose yourself inside. It is a fundamental element. The almost uniform color, the rounded corners of the crossroads that all look identical. Matter seems to coagulate sensations. You feel the need to touch, to caress, and blend into those walls
The Cretto is time; frozen but also suffered. The years have created wounds. The surface has broken and the iron of the inner soul has come out. Some plants have grown here and there. The cement has been transformed, it has come to life. As if that place had an inner strength pressing to get out. Time also means old age. A veil of gray covers the original whiteness. Mould creeps in and marks the walls with its long streaks of black. Like the face of an imperfect wrinkled man.

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