Project for a handwriting performance on the Vajont Dam
Since the moment of its creation, the identity of the Vajont Dam shifted from its original function. The tragic events in 1963 excluded its native element – water – and prevented any practical use of the dam. With the time, the dam has lost its instrumental value and acquired a symbolic meaning. Huge, dry and silent, the Vajont Dam speaks to us about the relation between humans and the environment, memory, history and identity, themes which are not fixed, but rather undergo a constant redefinition process.
With the performance Strata, I will use water – the original element of the dam, to intervene on the layers of time that have accumulated on the walls of the dam. The writings produced during the performance are not meant to be readable. Rather, they represent an attempt to redefine and rewrite memory through my physical gestures. The words will be emptied of their literal and functional meaning, disclosing thus, their pure evocative power.
Over several days, I will write on the dam by removing the darkened layer of dust and micro-vegetation which covers the surface with the aid of high-pressure water. The original light-gray tone of the dam will be revealed in the form of handwriting. The strokes will overlap each other and form a visual filigree on the concrete surface. The intervention will cover the full width of the dam following the line of the water level as recorded on Oct., 9th 1963.