Sicily’s Grande Cretto Memorial
A 1968 earthquake claims over four hundred lives and leaves the village of Gibellina in ruins. Artist Alberto Burri is commissioned to build a memorial on the footprint of the old town, encasing the rubble and the remains in a mass concrete edifice, set amongst the rolling hills of the Sicilian landscape. The voids in this solid monument retrace the paths that the villagers once walked, and ask the visitor to consider all which has been lost.
40 years on, camera in hand, it’s a visit to remember. Questions arise on the notions of memorial and conservation. How do we remember? The man-made fissures within the landscape certainly evoke memories of loss, but do they also plaster over that which has been lost? This series of images hopes to express the sense of solemnity in this space; a permanent monument to loss in a landscape where nature has already shown it’s apathy for such structures.
A walk through the nearby ghost village of Poggiorealle is reminiscent of a stage-set comprised of the materials which remain – the propped up facades of former homes and schools lining the barren streets. Finally, the newer planned town of New Gibellina acts as a cenotaph to its neighbouring villages; an assemblage of modern designs, mainly vacant, with sheer concrete walls echoing the retention inherent in it’s encased namesake. It is a cemetery of the avant-garde. 1
About the Artist
Ste Murray is an architectural and performance photographer from Dublin. As a graduate of Architecture in University College Dublin, he aims to bring an eye for detail and a project based approach to his work. He focuses’ on the process while finding creative solutions. Primarily working with Architects and Theatre Companies, putting collaboration to the fore. 2
About the Publisher
Established in 2015 by Iain Sarjeant, Another Place Press is a small independent publishing press based in the Scottish Highlands. We showcase contemporary photography projects which explore our relationship with ‘place’. 3