Week 3: 26 June – 2 July

Arquiteturas team believes this break is a great opportunity to look back at the festival’s last seven editions and provide viewers staying indoors worldwide with a selected retrospective of free streaming films. Each film will be released every Friday, running until next year’s edition, and can be viewed for one week. This initiative aims to provide visibility to the films and the makers and their contribution to initiating great discussions through their build environment stories. A live Q&A with the filmmakers, producers or authors will be announced whenever this is made possible, via the festival’s Instagram and FB pages.




Petra Noordkamp, 2012, The Netherlands, 16’

La Madre, il Figlio e l’Architetto (The Mother, the Son and the Architect) is a short film about a church in the form of a sphere in Gibellina, a town in Sicily that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1968 and was reconstructed in the 1980s. I came across this church by chance and became intrigued by its remarkable design. My fascination with this building intensified when I discovered that this church was designed by the influential Italian architect Ludovico Quaroni (1911-1987). He was the father of Emilio Quaroni, a young man with whom I had a brief relationship in the 1990s. After the contact with Emilio deteriorated I found out in 2001 that Emilio murdered his own mother in the same year. This film traces my investigation into what prompted Emilio to commit this act, but I particularly want to reveal how the architectural perception of a building is tinted by an event, by an encounter some 15 years earlier.


Petra Noordkamp, 2015, The Netherlands, 15’

A monumental white Cretto, begun in 1985, covers a hillside in the remote of western Sicily, it is both Land art – a vast monochrome embedded in the landscape – and a memorial to the town of Gibellina that was devastated by an earthquake in January 1968. Hundreds of people died in villages along the Belice Valley and tens of thousands were left homeless. After living in temporary shelters for almost a decade, the surviving residents of Gibellina resettled in Gibellina Nuova, several miles away. Invited to make an artwork for the new town, Burri instead envisioned an architectural sculpture that would cover the ruins and represent both the seismic disaster and the destroyed urban plan. Crumbled masonry was compacted within retaining walls and covered in an enormous shroud of white cement. The fissures of the resulting Cretto function as pathways that wind through an area of roughly 20 acres. Construction ceased in 1989 but was restarted in 2014 in order to build the last section of Burri’s original design.

Commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, I visited the site several times over the past year to create a film that captures Grande Cretto as an experiential work of art filled with sense of place, memory and history.

‘this usually poignant work of land art is represented here by a film by Petra Noordkamp that ends the show on a high note. Burri’s cracks are in this case pathways for visitors, evoking both a ghostly street plan and an earthquake’s rivening power.’
The New York Times , October 9, 2015


Petra Noordkamp, 2014, The Netherlands, 10’

Arcadia is a short film about the town Gibellina. In 1968, the Belice Valley in western Sicily was devastated by an earthquake. Gibellina suffered the worst destruction: no building was left intact, and the homeless lived in prefabricated buildings for more than 10 years. Gibellina Nuova was rebuilt 20 kilometers from the previous town.
Ludovico Corrao, mayor of Gibellina at the time, wanted to keep the tight-knit community together, and developed the project ‘Dream in Progress’. Prestigious city planners, architects and leading Italian artists were called in to contribute to this new town, creating together a city of modern art. Gibellina features beautiful buildings and works of art, but most areas of the city bear little relation to one another, and this creates an atmosphere of severe alienation.

The architecture of Gibellina evokes, for me, the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico and the films of Michelangelo Antonioni. In my film I undertake to capture and to enlarge the feeling of desolation experienced by wandering through this intriguing town.

About Petra Noordkamp

Dutch artist Petra Noordkamp (1967) lives and works in Amsterdam. She photographs and makes short films in which she explores the influence of experiences, memories, movies and dreams on the perception of architecture and the urban environment. Her work has recently been shown in the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the MAXXI in Rome. Once in a while she also curates exhibitions.