South likes: Mikhail Karikis at Villa Romana, Florence


Mikhail Karikis, Visions, 2013/2014, installation shot, five digital prints on Epson semi-gloss paper, various dimensions, Super 8-film on Prinz Oxford 600 editor/viewer, 3′, light installation

South likes: Mikhail Karikis at Villa Romana, Florence
Children of Unquiet
Villa Romana, Florence, Italy
3 July – 28 August, 2014

Text by Michelangelo Corsaro

In 1904 a few light bulbs were lit in a pioneering experiment, using for the first time a geothermal generator powered by the hot steam coming from the volcanic ground of the region of Larderello, in Tuscany. The area where the world’s first geothermal power plant was built in 1911 is named Devil’s Valley because it was believed to have inspired Dante’s Inferno. Until recent times this was a thriving region, where a group of around five thousand people lived in modernist industrial villages planned by Italian architect Giovanni Michelucci. The story told by Mikhail Karikis in his film Children of Unquiet begins with the depopulation of this area, due to the introduction of automated and remote operation technologies and the consequent rise of unemployment. The buildings that once housed the workers from the plant are now abandoned, together with the semi-utopian plans for the development of this region. The research of Mikhail Karikis is an attempt to envision the future of this area, turning to the imagination of a group of local children who are given the task to picture possible developments of this bleak scenario. Karikis invented a board game staged in the region, where the winner is not the player who makes the highest profits from the power plant but the one who gets to keep the highest number of workers in the community. Good intentions that unfortunately don’t match with a reality where children cannot imagine a future for themselves in the place where they were born. Perfectly installed in the venue of Villa Romana, the work that Karikis produced with local kids from the Larderello region is the last remainder of a failed development, which eventually ruled out the chance to build a happy human community.


Mikhail Karikis, Children of Unquiet, 2013/2014, installation shot, stereo sound, single channel video, 15’30″

Picture 51

Mikhail Karikis, still from Children of Unquiet, 2013/2014, stereo sound, single channel video, 15’30″


Mikhail Karikis, Larderello: the board game, 2014, photographic prints on Hahnemühle pearl paper, wooden game pieces, ink


Mikhail Karikis, 102 Years Out of Synch, 2013/2014, stereo sound 40’, two vinyl records, four digital prints on Hahnemühle etching paper


Mikhail Karikis, Love is the Institution of Revolution, 2014, colour pastel on handmade paper


Mikhail Karikis, Children of Unquiet, installation shot, 2014, Villa Romana, Florence


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