Alterazioni Video “Incompiuto: La nascita di uno stile | the Birth of a Style” in Palermo

Alterazioni Video, Variante alla SR 429, Castelfiorentino Firenze, 2018


Incompiuto: the Birth of a Style is the first study of the most important Italian architectural style of the last fifty years. Through detailed documentation, gathered by Alterazioni Video over ten years of research and fieldwork, it outlines a perspective through which to reinterpret our contemporary landscape, with 750 works documented throughout the Italian territory, of which 250 in Sicily alone.

The project will be presented in Palermo, among the collateral events of Manifesta 12, and – from 14 June – will also have its own info point in the old town, which will provide information on the exhibition itinerary in the city, as well as suggestions for embarking on tours to discover the beauties of the Incompiuto throughout the region. It will also be a point for the presentation and distribution of the book Incompiuto: the Birth of a Style, edited by Alterazioni Video and Fosbury Architecture, published by Humboldt Books, with contributions by Marc Augé, Marco Biraghi, Filippo Minelli and Davide Giannella, Wu Ming, Leoluca Orlando, Antonio Ricci, Salvatore Settis, Robert Storr and Paul Virilio.

The exhibition itinerary, curated by Davide Giannella, includes a video installation at the ex-Chiesa di S. Mattia ai Crociferi, with a previously unseen film shot in the locations of the Incompiuto, featuring the great German artist and pioneer of Wolfgang Staehle along with other figures involved in the project, such as Robert Storr, and an exhibition at the Centro Internazionale di Fotografia di Palermo directed by Letizia Battaglia, hosting the entire Atlante fotografico (‘photo atlas’) of the unfinished works.

The intention is to provide the tools to understand a phenomenon that characterises the Italian landscape and which represents a perspective from which to interpret the recent history of our country. A historical period which, since the end of WWII, has witnessed the development of an infrastructural framework coupled with the spread of unfinished public works all along the peninsula.

With more than a thousand works throughout Italy, funded with public money before being interrupted for a wide range of reasons (planning errors, bankruptcy, inaccurate economic assessments, drainage of funds), they represent a cultural and artistic heritage, useful for a broader understanding of the relationships between the territory and those who live in it. A datum that today leads us to question the very dynamics of progress, its limitations and shortcomings. The phenomenon of unfinished public works, in its diffusion and in the breadth of the research fields it crosses, allows us to reflect on the co-presence of different languages, on the interweaving of grammar and rhetoric, on the construction of shared imagery, and on the relationship between ideology and politics.

Through the compilation of a typological index and a national Catalogue of unfinished works, Incompiuto: the Birth of a Style, published by Humboldt Books, accompanies the reader along a new ‘Journey in Italy’, a ‘Grand Tour’ amid the ruins of the contemporary world. A set of 160 images, brought together in the Works section, along with the regional Maps and the data and measurements supplied by the Catalogue, define the very nature of these constructions: their history, phenomenology and aesthetics. The volume traces various paths of interpretation through the history and culture of public architecture in Italy, and for the first time offers an arena for wide-ranging debate on the theme.

Incompiuto: La nascita di uno stile is a project by Alterazioni Video curated by Davide Giannella, promoted by the Associazione Incompiuto Siciliano, winner of the first edition of the Italian Council 2017 Contest, held by the General Directorate for Contemporary Art, Architecture and Urban Outskirts (DGAAP) of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism with a view to promoting contemporary Italian art throughout the world. The volume, edited together with Fosbury Architecture, was initially supported by a funding campaign through the Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative / Kickstarter which allowed for the start of a photographic tour around Italy. The project was made possible also thanks to the contribution of the Goethe-Institut and the Casa dell’Architettura – Acquario di Roma and the support of Dispari & Dispari.

Incompiuto: the Birth of a Style is part of the collateral events of Manifesta 12 Palermo, and Palermo 2018 Italian Capital of Culture. The project is also accompanied by a planning and viewing workshop: the INCOMPIUTO Summer School dedicated to unfinished works in Italy, organised by Fosbury Architecture together with Alterazioni Video, which will last one week .


Alterazioni Video is a collective of five artists founded in Milan in 2004 with bases in New York, Berlin and Milan. Their work has been exhibited around the world in art museums and institutions, including the 52nd Venice Biennale; Manifesta 7; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; and the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum (Berlin).  On the occasion of the 52nd Venice Biennale, curated by Robert Storr, the collective exhibited Painting (16:9 colour video HD, 16’ 33”, 2007): a work that documents the continuous layering of writing and its removal along the outside walls of Milan’s San Vittore prison.  They are known for ‘Incompiuto Siciliano’, a project that reinterprets the Italian landscape of unfinished architecture, also displayed at the 12th Architecture Biennale of Venice in 2010 and at the Museo MAXXI in Rome. An ongoing project, first undertaken in 2006, it constitutes an outright census that defines the existence of a new style, or a study of the ruins of the contemporary world.  Over the last five years, the collective has produced ten films, brought together under the name Turbo Film and screened at cinema festivals and art spaces, such as Performa New York, the Milan Film Festival, Art Basel Miami and the PAC in Milan. The Fondazione Cineteca Italiana of Milan in 2016 dedicated a retrospective and a publication to the collective’s work.

Fosbury Architecture is a collective of architectural research and design, founded in 2013, based in Milan, Rotterdam and Hamburg. It is made up of Giacomo Ardesio, Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri, Veronica Caprino and Claudia Mainardi. F.A.’s work has won them various international awards, such as Europan13/ Leeuwarden, Museo Scienze Naturali/Turin, YAC/Bologna and Recycling Socialism/Tallinn Biennale. F.A. took part in the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 and they have been invited to display their work as part of various group shows, such as: ‘Re-Constructivist Architecture’, Ierimonti Gallery New York and RIBA, London; ‘Adhocracy’ in Athens; ‘Re-Drawing the Theory\Re-Drawing the House’ in Milan; and ‘Capitalism is Over’, Milan Fuori Salone 2017. The collective was the youngest Italian group to take part in the 2017 Chicago Biennial: Make New History.


Alterazioni Video, Viadotto Mussomeli, Caltanissetta, 2018


Alterazioni Video, Viadotto Mussomeli, Caltanissetta, 2018


Gabriele Basilico, Giarre, 2007


Alterazioni Video, Viadotto San Giacomo dei Capri, Vomero, Napoli, 2018


Alterazioni Video, Pontile ex Sir Lamezia Terme, Catanzaro, 2018


Alterazioni Video, Viadotto Barche, Bomba, Chieti, 2018


Alterazioni Video. Incompiuto: La nascita di uno stile | the Birth of a Style
Curated by Davide Giannella
with Alterazioni Video, Fosbury Architecture, Davide Giannella, Giovanna Silva and Robert Storr

15 June 2018, 11:30am – book presentation 
Incompiuto: the Birth of a Style
Edited by Alterazioni Video and Fosbury Architecture
Humboldt Books
Newsstand ‘al Quinto Canto’
Quattro Canti, Palermo
The newsstand will be open from 14 until 24 June 2018, from 11am to 6pm 

15 June 2018, 6pm – opening
ex Chiesa di S. Mattia ai Crociferi | Via Torremuzza, 28, Palermo
The exhibition will be open until 20 July 2018

17 June 2018, 12pm – brunch and guided tour
Centro Internazionale di Fotografia di Palermo directed by Letizia Battaglia
Cantieri Culturali alla ZISA | Via Paolo Gili, 4, Palermo
The exhibition will be open from 13 June until 20 September 2018

Incompiuto Summer School
18–24 June 2018
Hosted by Fosbury Architecture in collaboration with Alterazioni Video
Cantieri Culturali alla ZISA