It is currently estimated that 2.5 million tons of waste marble is generated every year in the Carrara marble quarries in the Apuan Alps, Tuscany, Italy. Presently much of this waste is transported and transformed into a fine marble dust and exported for use in beauty and cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, milk and building materials.
In response to the energy and waste intensive quarrying, its environmental impact and its irreversible damage to the landscape, I walked 14km, twice, from the mountain village of Colonnata to the beach adjacent to the Port of Marina Di Carrara carrying my body weight in marble dust. In the 10 hours that it took me to walk and waste 49kg of marble dust the trucks that passed by me transported loads of approximately 2588997.5456621004kg. This film project was made during a 10 day visit to Carrara in the summer of 2016, I filmed the two walks myself, walking back and forth to my camera on a tripod and with Go -pro cameras attached to my legs and arms. The act of carrying my body weight in marble powder aims to draw attention to the weight of my body, and its equivalence in matter. Leaving a trail of powder in my wake as I walk, draws attention to the physical, material and essential presence of both myself, the marble and the mountain. The gesture of wasting the marble asks questions about the value of me, the value of the marble and the value of the mountain. Drawing a continuous bright white 14km line of dust from the mountain to the beach made me feel both unnervingly powerful and present while also utterly insignificant and irrelevant.
This project is an exploration and development of my current interests in film, performance, movement, the body and landscape. I am attempting to embody the mountain; its inhabitants and its matter, to experience and understand it with and in relation to my body on the move. By filming from my arms, ankles and legs and not my eyes I access and offer an insight into what my body saw, of itself in the environment, making me both subject and object, the cameras show me what I didn’t know I was seeing, offering new perspectives on the landscape.
Made in the Carrara marble quarries in the Apuan Alps, Tuscany, Italy 2016.