gabriele mundula highlights the depopulation of rural italy with art installation


sorgente urbana BY GABRIELE MUNDULA

 

artist and designer gabriele mundula has created an interactive artwork to address the depopulation of small italian towns and villages. the installation is composed of red ropes that crisscross a small street in noci in italy’s southern puglia region. inspired by medicine and biology, the work stages the symbiotic relationship between city and people, demonstrating how the absence of one causes the collapse of the other.

 

called ‘sorgente urbana’—which literally translates to ‘urban source’—the installation draws attention to the depopulation of southern italy in particular. the artist says, ‘the most worrying thing is that, without inhabitants, the small villages that characterize this unique part of the country die slowly, with no possibilities to pass on the next generations all the customs and traditions. this is the first step toward the decay of a nation, the loss of identity.’

connection recovered between medicine biology and urban art on the street of a small south italy village 2
images courtesy of gabriele mundula

 

 

sorgente urbana is like a vein, carrying vital blood and oxygen to wherever they’re needed. the red ropes represent blood vessels and people, both of which are the lifeblood of our bodies and our cities, respectively. the ropes have different diameters, which get smaller when they get closer to the buildings. they occupy the urban space by clinging to the walls and projections like balconies, pipes, and railings.

 

along the vein path, some of the ropes are left free for visitors to interact with. pulling on the ropes makes the whole installation move, simulating the pumping of blood inside the body and showing the vitality of the village. the more people pull the strings, the more the work acquires value. and without anyone, the installation cannot work.

connection recovered between medicine biology and urban art on the street of a small south italy village 5


by pulling one of the free ropes, people can shake the entire installation, simulating the pumping of blood inside the ‘organism-city’

 

 

‘a space can only survive if people walk and live inside it. otherwise all that remains is the skeleton. the absence of life,’  continues mundula.

 

sorgente urbana was presented during the urban art festival ‘esseri urbani’. it’s the first of a series of artistic installations that compose the macro-project ‘il codice dell’anima’, which aims to highlight the hidden mechanisms that govern our world, investigating both its problems and its most fascinating and enigmatic aspects, using all kinds of expressive language.

connection recovered between medicine biology and urban art on the street of a small south italy village 6
the more people move the ropes, the more blood is pumped

connection recovered between medicine biology and urban art on the street of a small south italy village 4
closeup view of the ropes

connection recovered between medicine biology and urban art on the street of a small south italy village 9
not only man, but also nature appropriates the installation, revealing the deep and ancestral connection between man, nature and city

connection recovered between medicine biology and urban art on the street of a small south italy village 1
for the concept mundula researched fluidity and pumping—how can a vein stage the life of a small village?

 

 

project info:

 

name: sorgente urbana
artist: gabriele mundula

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom





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