Deborah Ligorio is a diarist of landscape, carefully recording and reflecting upon its social, political and environmental transformations. Her work might belong to a still unlisted genre of poetic ethnography, comparable with the desires of psycho-geographers or the passions of 18th century explorers, obsessed with space’s historical dimension, the cultural significance of the place and the grammar of belonging. Her investigations of the identity of landscape and geography are meticulously filtered through her perception of the site, from the narrative point of view as well as from her mode of narrating, in which the artist uses her own voice “off-screen,” automatically mythologizing the site to render it more surreal. The Submerged Town is a journey into the memory of the region of Trentino – South Tyrol. The artist refers to the engineering project by the Montecatini Company to build an artificial lake which would connect two natural lakes, the Lake of Resia / Reschensee and the Lake of Curon / Graun, in the process submerging several villages in the neighborhood. The film concentrates on the portrait of a bell tower emerging from the water, a metaphor of everyday struggle and adaptation. Mapping a disappearance and trying to document the traces of a former presence, Ligorio’s work oscillates between magic and reality, retaining a critical stance towards the policy of urban and environmental redevelopment.
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