Sabaudia – Redefining Utopia

Video, 3-channel video installation, 31 min, HDCAM/HD, 2013.

Skate sequence preview – scroll down for text and credits.

Sabaudia is a town in the region of Latina, 100 km south of Rome, Italy.

In 2012 Marie Rømer Westh (DK) invited artists and skaters to join her in the town Sabaudia for a film project: an aesthetic reflection within the remains of a totalitarian utopia, an intervention with a perfectly structured town in order to try out its creative potential and comment on individual expression in public space.

All inspired by the “do it yourself” culture that is significant for its ability to combine individualism and creativity, supporting a dynamic environment based on personal action, exchange and reflection, the artists and skateboarders are reflecting through performances and gestures, the form, structure, use, history and present of the place.

A collaborative intervention in the Italian town Sabaudia. The installation shows an aesthetic intervention with the remains of a fascist utopia and compiles a variety of points of view on the idea of fascism, utopia and idealism in general.

Sabaudia is situated in what originally was a wild marchland famous and notorious for malaria and a home only for shepherds and lawless individuals. The Fascist regime started here a huge agricultural revolution that was to make Italy self sufficient and able to conquer the world. This new region was to be known for its small villages, Latina, Pontinia, Aprilia, Pomezia and, in 1934, Sabaudia. All built in the modern Italian functionalist/fascist style, each village with everything from church to town hall and party offices, schools, shops and homes. Including street signs, lamps and manhole covers with inscriptions designating the year 1922 as year 0 marking the beginning of the new Fascist area. The world was to start anew.

Sabaudia was made as a model for towns to be built in the Italian colonies and is one of the most intact examples of modernist architecture build by the Fascist regime.

31 min, 3-channel video projection, HDCAM/HD 2013.

Produced with support from Statens Kunstråd/Danish Arts Council and Det Danske Institut Rom/Accademia Di Danimarca.

Credits

Idea, direction, production and editing:
Marie Rømer Westh

Camera:
Tom Jide Akinleminu
Mischa Leinkauf

Additional cameras:
Jérôme Fino
Frederik Sølberg

Sound:
Niels Plenge

Artists:
Cäcilia Brown (A)
Brad Downey (US)
Jérôme Fino (FR)
Mischa Leinkauf (D)
The Wa (FR)
Noah Wiegand (FR)
Matthias Wermke (D)
Marie Rømer Westh (DK)

Skaters:
Jérémy Delpiaz(FR)
Francois Duchamps (FR)
Antoine Riviere (FR)
Noah Wiegand (FR)

Co-producer and production manager:
Frederik Sølberg

Fixer, translator and production assistant:
Vittoria Fiumi

Thanks to:
Comune di Sabaudia
Daniela Carfagna
Maria Pia Mambro
Maria Rosa
Legambiente Sabaudia
Georg Zolchow