Architetture Criminali

Adelaide Di Nunzio

2010 - 2018

UNFINISHED- Criminal architecture and faces

By Adelaide Di Nunzio

“The human eye gets used to the view of dilapidation.

At first the glance is horrified by the sight of an abandoned and unfinished building, but soon we adapt, accepting what is before us.

This project brings our gaze back to contemplate the stories of these ruins and the people whose lives have been entangled with them.

I photographed the skeletons of these disused buildings as if they were magnificent monuments, the tourist attractions for which Italy is so famous. Captured as relics, these derelict structures become more visible. They invite us to hold our gaze and reflect deeply on the contemporary history and fabric of our country.”

“Unfinished” recounts how the mafia has affected people and landscapes in southern Italy – tracing how criminality has influenced architecture, defaced landscapes and altered people’s lives.

Our gaze travels to Campania, finding villas and swimming pools on terraces of houses once belonging to the Camorra – and to Calabria’s unfinished public and private buildings. We visit Puglia where enterprises start up but end their activities shortly afterwards, and Sicily, seeking out its confiscated properties.

The photo project immerses the spectator in these places through the images of unfinished structures and confiscated properties and the penetrating glances of people whose lives were changed by coming into contact with the criminal underworld.

These photos narrate the south of Italy – structures and faces that tell stories of abandonment and anger, trepidation and courage. They mark the first chapter of a project that will be developed through time and across geographical borders, mirroring criminality’s own disrespect for borders.

Inevitably life is influenced by organized crime, bringing dramatic and rapid changes and engendering fear, pain and strength. Strong feelings and dramatic acts arise from the sometimes accidental contacts of honest people with criminality world.

People’s decisions and actions are the result of a fight between perpetrator and victim, they emorialize something traumatic that others want to forget. They inspire those who testify against organized crime and bear the cost of loneliness, fear and sometimes poverty.

Alongside this ongoing tension between forgetting and remembering, the reportage focuses on what is never completed: buildings, hotels, luxury restaurants, all left half-constructed. They are abandoned as iron and concrete skeletons.

Bare marbles, desolate stairs, abandoned terraces with empty pools inhabited only by rotten water lilies are the new archeological and architectural ruins in the Italian landscape. They exist each as a modern Parthenon, contemporary totems bearing witness to a cursed world that once existed.

Both landscapes and people share the same destiny – the eternally unfinished.

{{ readMoreButton }}

PhMuseum Days 2023 Open Call

Apply now for 4 Exhibitions at PhMuseum Days 2023 plus a 40-image collective installation, free applicants pass, and more

Apply now