ALBERTO BURRI. IL GRANDE CRETTO DI GIBELLINA
‘Burri’s Cretto di Gibellina is not only a very human gesture of piety. It does not merely commemorate a tragedy poetically. It shows the profound value contained in the act of making art: death is not the last word on life; the artwork’s form saves the world from pure horror.’
This statement by author Massimo Recalcati introduces the magnificent example of land art created by Alberto Burri in Gibellina after the earthquake that struck the Belice Valley in Sicily in 1968.
When Gibellina’s mayor Ludovico Corrao invited Burri and other artists to create artworks, Burri wanted his work located in the destroyed town. He covered its ruins with an expanse of concrete that incorporated the materials and memories. In this way the Cretto became a poignant testimony and eternal guardian of the town’s history and of the people who lived there; it established a connection between the need to come to terms with the trauma and the ancient and mythical historical context in which it had taken place.
The book contains an extensive selection of previously unpublished black and white images by Aurelio Amendola, custodian of Alberto Burri’s major photographic archive, which offer a new and comprehensive reinterpretation of the Grande Cretto di Gibellina after its completion in 2015.