Massimo Cacciari

Memory and prophecy


In the long time of abandonment, Molino Stucky was filled with brushwood and debris; where there were machine noises and workers' voices, silence fell on the rubble. "In the deserted sanctuary, the rubble of greatness" mentioned in the epigraph with the words of Garcia Marquez. With this spirit, Luca Campigotto, a young and talented Venetian photographer, has seen them. Campigotto has already revealed us in a completely unusual way the "stones" of the city in the volume Venetia Obscura and the "landscapes" of the industry in the photographs of the Venice-Marghera exhibition .

"In the deserted sanctuary, the rubble of greatness". It is the same spirit with which the Venetian Giovanni Battista Piranesi—the memory is immediate, even in the face of the eloquent black and white of these photographs—had engraved the architecture tables, with the need for a faithful rendering of Roman antiquities. In detail, all his images obey the truth, but in their relationship of magnitude and in the visionary and emotional solemnity of their overall composition they far exceed what Rome could boast of.

Like those engravings yesterday, so photography today—and it is the case with these photographs by Luca Campigotto—gives more emotions than one might experience in front of the ruins themselves. It is documentation and at the same time testimony, memory custody and at the same time omen. Foreshadowing of a day not far in which the old and deserted Molino will be the young and crowded structure of "another" Giudecca. When these photographs, then, will narrate the joyful labor of rebirth, not the gloomy quiet of abandonment.

This book is dedicated to Paolo Costantini. He had chosen Luca Campigotto in the restricted range of Italian photographers called to document Porto Marghera... and had then followed and advised Campigotto in the choice of images and in the first layout of this book. Paolo Costantini passed away a few months ago. Venice has lost a scholar of the highest value—the most cultured and the most innovative historian and theorist of photography—and a young man of great courage. May these images keep his memory alive.


from the volume Molino Stucky, Marsilio, 1998

copyright © 2013 Luca Campigotto

Luca Campigotto