Art Bookshop Ireland
Utopia, Dianne Whyte
Utopia, Dianne Whyte
Utopia, Dianne Whyte
Utopia, Dianne Whyte
Utopia, Dianne Whyte
  • SKU: UDW
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Utopia, Dianne Whyte

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Matera is a symbol of rebirth, rising from extreme and prolonged difficulties. For decades referred to as the shame of Italy, it rose to become a jewel, nominated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1993 and European Capital of Culture in 2019. Over the centuries it has changed shape over and over again, in an ongoing dialogue between rock and architecture. Carlo Levi in his book ‘Christ stopped at Eboli’ singles out the Sassi of Matera for its tragic beauty and hallucinogenic aura of decay, “like a school boy’s idea of Dante’s Inferno”. The place today is riddled with tunnels and caves, what you see on the surface is only 30 percent, the other 70 percent lies hidden beneath. The surrounding landscape, characterised by soft limestone rock, played an essential role in the shapes of gorges, caves and cliffs. The construction technique was described as ‘Architecture in Negative’, not actually building but removing matter from the rock in order to obtain architectural structures. The town was evacuated in 1952 and all its inhabitants were rehoused. It was left desolate until the early 1980s. It presses one to examine current issues of social housing, unfinished public works, suburbs, and how we may live within a space without recognition of its potential.

Published by PhotoIreland
Edition of 200
36 pages
148 × 210 mm




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