IL PASSAGGIO PER IL MULINO
This project was a submission for the annual art festival ‘Stazione di Topolò’. This festival takes place in the Italian village Topolò, which is situated near the Slovenian border. Topolò is one of the countless villages in the north of Italy which have fallen into decay. Every summer the village awakes for two weeks during Stazione; a festival which was originated in 1994. The contributions of artists, designers and musicians are intended as an interpretation or dialogue with the existing culture, population and its environment.
Stories of local inhabitants, eroding ruins, and overgrown far stretching terraces echo traces of a rich culture and history. The Mulino is one of the strongest beacons showing shatters of lives which were ones lived. It is a ruin of their watermill complex, situated in Topolò’s valley next to the Koderjana stream.
After a short downhill hike, you will find two small houses joined by a dam. Eroded by time and the elements the dam has been transformed into a small waterfall. Alongside the river a stacked slate mountain walls embrace the site.
Our project ‘Il Passagio per il Mulino’, consists of a research, a series of texts and drawings and is disclosed by architectural sculpture. The purpose of the sculptures is to strengthen a now fading dialogue between the village and Mulino, as a contribution to the way ‘Stazione di Topolò’ aims to connect Topolò with new people and ideas.
The concrete sculpture on the dam is outlined by an offset of the remaining dam surface. Its stepped form mimics both the terraced landscape of the path to the Mulino, and the slate rock formations which embrace the site. The sculpture acts like a pedestal to stand, sit or lie down on, overlooking the Koderjana stream and its ruins. The main sculpture has two square holes at its far end. Two concreted cubes were taken out of those holes at the end of Stazione, and were brought back to the village. These two cubes are a scale model of the Mulino complex. By positioning them within the village of Topolò, they now form a new physical reconnection to strengthen the dialogue between the village and its valley ruins.