July 2014 – September 2015
Starting from the history-memory to create contemporary itineraries
“Ersilia” from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Trading Cities 4
In Ersilia, to establish the relationship that sustain the city’s life, the inhabitants stretch strings from the corners of the houses, white or black or gray or balck-and-white according to whether they mark a relationship of blood, of trade, authority, agency. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the inhabitants leave: the houses are dismantled; only the strings and their supports remain.
From a mountainside, camping with their household goods, Ersilia’s refugees look at the labyrinth of taut strings and poles that rise in the plain. That is the city of Ersilia, and they are nothing.
They rebuild Ersilia elsewhere. They weave a similar pattern of strings which they would like to be more complex and at the same time more regular than the other. Then they abandon it and take themselves and their houses still farther away.
Thus, when traveling in the territory of Ersilia, you come upon the ruins of the abandoned cities, without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spider-web of intricate relationships seeking a form.