For this project Giada Ripa traveled four thousand kilometers, from the northernmost border of Italy to its southern regions, to explore “the invisible gas pipeline” that snakes its way through highways, roads, forests, parks, rivers, and many of the peninsula’s “natural oases.”
Aside from presenting a series of very involving stories, The Thin Line also proves that, after more than twenty years, the awareness of the industrial and financial sectors has finally changed for the better. The author establishes a narrative that tends to draw our aesthetic attention to the presence of values of respect and an attention to the restoration of environmental balances that presume a strong ethical awareness.
As in several of her other works, in this volume you will find “travel notes” jotted down on maps and illustrated with archive images: an exploration of a physical and cultural landscape, historical research, close-up but neutral anthropological investigations.
The author/artist/photographer’s gaze intends to bear witness to a paradoxical and virtuous coexistence in which a high-speed network endeavors to improve an efficiency that is rooted in low speed: the coexistence of the environment, slow and reflexive, with its actors, who are mostly human, though there are a few splendid representatives of the animal kingdom.
The artist preserves a mystery throughout a portion of the book, presenting only intriguing fragments of maps and unassuming posts she seems to have made into the symbols of this work. However, at a certain point she does reveal the hidden mechanism, allowing us a glimpse — in Kubrick-style perspective — of one of the pipelines.
After an accurate reconnaissance of the locations traversed by these networks, what emerges is the desire to bear witness to the possibility of another, more efficient level at which those creating the infrastructures that improve our lives can better communicate with the ecosystems that inhabit these areas before, during, and after the realization of the projects. Her purpose is (also) to offer these places an opportunity for improvement.
Giada Ripa is a photographer. After studying at the ICP in New York, she worked as a correspondent for the Grazia Neri agency, publishing her work in several Italian and foreign magazines. She later devoted herself to personal projects and commissioned work that led her to travel the world. She has shown her work in several museums and galleries, including the Musée Botanique in Brussels, the Royal College of Art in London, the International Center of Photography in New York, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art in Russia, PS122 in New York, Art-Hub in Shanghai and Beijing, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, and the Arsenale in Venice. Among her most relevant works is Displacement, the first photographic book created by Moleskine and presented during a solo exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art; and The Yokohama Project 1867–2016 presented at Kyotographie in Japan, at the Paris Biennale, at Paris Photo, and on other important occasions in Europe. Giada Ripa was also shortlisted at the Premio Terna, recognized as a Vevey International Photo Award finalist, and nominated twice for the Prix Pictet for The Invisible Pipeline and The Thin Line.
Pippo Ciorra, architect, critic, and teacher. He is the author of essays and articles published in newspapers and magazines. He has also written monographs and texts on cities, museums, photography, and contemporary Italian architecture. In addition, he has curated and mounted shows in Italy and abroad.