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In assenza - Epifania

Giorgio Della Marianna, Gaia Castelli, Michele Taborelli, Federico Muratori

Reflections on the meaning of a memorial.

This short film is the third in a series of three aimed at analyzing, exploring and criticizing, through moving images, the War Memorial in Como designed by Giuseppe Terragni starting from a drawing by Antonio Sant'Elia. On the occasion of Sant'Elia's death anniversary, and its celebrations, a workshop tutored by director Ila Bêka and participated by students from Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio was held, promoted by Ordine degli architetti di Como and curated by architects Stefano Larotonda and Niccolò Nessi.

While the first and the second part of the trilogy were focused on the shell of the building and on its relationship with the landscape, this last film is focused on the interiors which constitute the heart of the Memorial in terms of space and symbols. The interior room is designed by Terragni and contains a granite monolith engraved with the names of the fallen in the two World Wars. Starting from this peculiar case, the short film aims at fostering more general reflections on the meaning a memorial may have today. Two questions arise. Is the construction of a memorial still valuable today? Do the existing monuments preserve their original function as a warning for generations in a historical perspective? The monolith weighs on a huge anonymous void, where the only distinctive sign is an headstone consumed by time. In a certain way this status could be an answer to the previous questions. In this void space, however, the atmosphere is sacred, and goes beyond historical, political or religious meanings: the space, with its abstract qualities, fosters reflections on death as a universal theme, perceived by all human beings throughout history. Considering those qualities, architecture transcends the limits of social and cultural changes, representing eternal values and feelings.


Authors: Chan-Woo Park, Alexandra Zervudachi
Architect: Giuseppe Terragni
Mentioned project: War Memorial (1930-33) based on a drawing by Antonio Sant'Elia (1912-14)
Project location: Como, Italy
Production: Ordine degli Architetti PPC della Provincia di Como
Tutor: Ila Bêka
Workshop coordinators: Stefano Larotonda, Niccolò Nessi
Photography Assistant: Marco Cappelletti

Italy 2016
Duration: 3'24''