Last September 30, the first edition of “The Straits Biennial – First International Exhibition of Art, Architecture, Landscape, Writing, Video, Photography of the Straits.” The event was sponsored by the Order of Architects of Reggio Calabria and Messina and the respective Metropolitan Cities.
The event is an opportunity to propose initiatives aimed at the growth of the area’s development, offering, in particular, new design intentions in the field of urban planning and architecture, as part of a shared vision between the two cities of the Strait.
The event, which is still in progress, has taken and will take place at various sites in the Reggio and Messina area including the former Siacci Fort – from the Umbertine era – in the locality of Campo Calabro (RC); here the first of the events that will constitute the entire project was held, which is entitled “The three water lines: ridge, plain and coast.”
The Biennial recounts the transition of the Mediterranean territory with new perspectives: the sea becomes a world yet to be discovered, where the sounds and atmospheres of the past want to meet scientific innovations, in an overview of the future, in an area rich in history and cultural and identity diversity.
Goboservice designed and built the projection for the entry path to Fort Battery Siacci. The lighting is distinguished by the use of a dense pattern of white lines in sharp contrast to large areas of shadow. The result is an extremely impactful black-and-white drawing that, by emphasizing the longitudinal development of the reservoir, guides the viewer’s gaze toward the access portal, the vanishing point of the composition.
On the two high side walls, lofty peaks, depicted through animated ridge lines sampled with variously inclined segments, ideally depict the two shores of the Strait, while the sinuous swirls of light depicted on the floor level, refer to the currents of the same arm of the sea. This, moreover, is depicted above the portal where the coastlines depicting the Messina and Reggina shores are supported by seagulls (image courtesy of Prof. Rosario Giovanni Brandolino). The visitor, upon entering the fort, is induced to make a “crossing,” stepping on the swirls of the whirlpools, and the evocation of the Strait, the sea, and the Mediterranean shores is an invitation to immerse oneself in a journey of knowledge, of which, in the various exhibition rooms, one can find different declinations through evocative installations and design boards. The plot of lines, eschewing a realistic representation of reality, emphasizes precisely that complex of abstractions that allows the Mediterranean to be defined as a place of exchange, of contamination, and as a basin of not fully expressed potential. The whirlpools are thus charged with mythological evocations, the segmented lines of the reliefs seem instead to be schematic restitutions of the morphology of the land: the overall image plays precisely on this suggestive synthesis between rigorous lines and voluptuous trends, between the rational and the irrational.
We are proud to have helped highlight a cultural event that supports a new idea of the Mediterranean, understood as an international laboratory on which to grow a perspective of dialogue and reference from which the Straits community can also benefit.