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BUNKER - "Lorenzo Rota" Botanical Garden of Bergamo

Film Memoria/4 and Exhibition Plants and War
10 - 17 September 2006

Bergamo Alta - Sala Viscontea (Piazza Cittadella)
Inauguration Saturday 9 September at 6 p.m.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 3-6.30 p.m.; Saturday 7p.m. -midnight; Sunday 10-1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m.
Free admission

For information: tel 035 286060, ortobotanico@comune.bg.it

After the success of the first public experience in Dalmine last July, culminated in the exhibition dedicated to the “Crocheted Bombs” and the “Hands video”, Bunker moves to the city with an unusual appointment in collaboration with the “Lawrence Rota” Botanical garden of Bergamo
From 10 to 17 September the Video Memory / 4 will be presented in perfect synergy (one of the video productions of the Bunker project) with the exhibition Plants and War organized by the Botanical garden at Sala Viscontea in Bergamo Alta.


The video Memory / 4, realized by the artist Laura Morelli and the film director Alberto Valtellina, identifies a memory chain that begins with the eyewitness and ends in the last generation, following the changing interpretations of stories tied to the bombardment of Dalmine on 6 July 1944 and the anti-aircraft shelters, the largest collective mourning of the Bergamo province in the twentieth century.
The four monitors composing the video installation contemporarily show the members of a single family group: one at a time they relate their own story, framed in the family space of daily life while the other members are portrayed in “standstill”. The need to listen is implicit in the transmission of memory; a black screen evokes the absence or loss of a ring in the chain while a pink or blue screen suggests the symbolic presence of a relative whose testimony was not collected.
Some of the people interviewed have such vivid memories that the reconstruction of the events experienced are told with almost photographic detail and they revoke the sensations of the hours passed in the anti-aircraft shelter. Others, like the bishop of Bergamo Roberto Amadei, still seek an explanation after so many years, or they open a reflection on the drama of the war which was paid at such a high price by the “poor people”. The films are projected with the awareness that the story itself is not sufficient to understand the drama experienced, where it is necessary “to experience, feel, see, and be there.”
The children who grew up in the period of reconstruction are not always the depositaries of their parents stories, busy as they were in the years following the conflict in the difficult enterprise of “starting anew”. But there are those still alive who remember, explaining their need to preserve their memory against the tendency of “today’s generation” to forget. Grandchildren are often the privileged audiences of the stories told by their grandparents, who, as they grow older, have more time to devote to stories, while great grandchildren are still too small to understand, so their mothers tell them “a story” – the story of the bombardment – trying not to upset the “dreams” of their children. Who knows if the memory thread will reach the fifth generation?


The exhibition PLANTS AND WAR, organized by the “Lawrence Rota” Botanical Garden of Bergamo, investigates the direct consequences on natural and agricultural ecosystems from shortages, destruction and abandonment.
The strict relationship of dependence between human existence and the life of vegetable organisms is particularly evident during extreme events that cause a limit in resources. And war is one of these extreme events.
The theme is faced from three different aspects: war gardens, with the revaluation of domestic practices of distant origins based on the care of vegetable organisms; phytoalimurgia, i.e. food derived from wild plants growing spontaneously in natural and anthropic habitats for use in emergency situations; and lastly the effects of the war on vegetable organisms themselves, rarely studied and generally excluded from the long list of sadly known “side effects”.
Using documentation, images and testimonies approaching the theme, the exhibition places the relations between biographies and plants in the foreground, even imagining the opinion of the plants themselves.
How far does human kind need to evolve before becoming aware of the inherent absurdity in shedding human suffering and in the perseverance of environmental destruction?
Botanists are sure of one thing: like Hiroshima, each time new plants grow on top of the rubbles.

Crocheted bombs + Hands video

1 – 16 July 2006
Inauguration: Saturday 1 July at 11 a.m.
Dalmine - Nuova Biblioteca Civica, Piazza Matteotti
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 6-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: 10.30-12.30 / 6-10 p.m.
Free Admission

Groups of women from Dalmine, Bergamo and the surrounding province, work together with the artist Laura Morelli, to realize a series of bombs in crotchet and lace-making techniques. The bombs are of identical dimensions and shapes to the ones dropped on Dalmine during the second World war. A real short-circuit with past history, where the transparency and lightness of these “lace” devices that are the result of a re-elaboration of the mourning and drama of the war, realized entirely by women.
Laura Morelli and Monica Mazzoleni filmed the masterly and feverish work of the hands of the women intent on creating, point after point, the unusual bombs. The film in progress links the manual work together with the chattering and memories that accompany this intimate and shared activity.
During the exhibition held in Dalmine, the “crocheted bombs” were placed on an enormous white sheet where 424 panels were traced, representing the bombs dropped on Dalmine. Colored bombs, placed on a suggestive emotional field, where visitors will be invited to leave comments and drawings.

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