Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Amsterdam (NL)
about landscape transformations
by Gianluca Tramutola
Transformation is intrinsic in the essence of the landscape. The transformation dynamics have always been dependent on the complex and unstable relationships between ecological, economic, political, social and cultural conditions of territories.
The European Landscape Convention, signed in Florence on 20 October 2000 by the member States of the Council of Europe, establishes in the definitions of article 6 concerning specific awareness-raising measures: «Each party undertakes to increase awareness among the civil society, private organisations, and public authorities of the value of landscapes, their role and changes to them». Landscapes have always alternated and transformed, but to what extent is it possible to manage transformations without losing their constitutive identity? Can we talk about new landscapes, or are they transition states towards forms of degradation and simplification without conscious objectives and development strategies? Who are the real actors of the transformations of contemporary European landscapes?
Despite many good intentions, the distance between those who are responsible for the governance of landscape’s transformations and those who make them real in everyday life often appears unbridgeable. In a society increasingly disrupted by strong individualism and alienating forms of virtual communication and socialization, are we really aware and interested in what is happening around us?
With the presentation “Nuovi paesaggi?“, Gianluca Tramutola returns to the Italian Cultural Institute in Amsterdam and will explore some issues related to landscape transformation. Some reflections will refer to the future of the Apulian landscape in dramatic inexorable transformation due to the death of olive trees caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. Other considerations will concern some rediscovered urban landscapes and others evolving towards forms of trivialization and homogenisation, as it is happening in many European cities in recent years.
paesaggi invisibili I invisible landscapes I onzichtbare landschappen
A photographic narrative itinerary through what we (do not) see.
Exhibition by Gianluca Tramutola
Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Amsterdam
Landscape perception is a theme that has different meanings depending on the way we try to explore it in its multifaceted complexity. One of the simplest and most immediate conclusions is that, in many cases, what appears to our eyes is not of common or unambiguous interpretation. People perceive landscapes through the ‛filter’ of their cultural and life experiences, and they are often influenced by their emotions and other sensations, or even simply by the opinions and conventions of others, which may exclude critical thinking.
Rural, urban, industrial landscapes as well as natural and cultural ones become, in many cases, invisible landscapes characterized by an incessant transformation and at the same time trivialized by the lack of awareness of a society that, however image dependent, does not perceive or recognize their ‘real value’.
The European Landscape Convention, signed in Florence on the 20th October 2000 by the Member States of the Council of Europe, states in the definitions in Article 1: «Landscape means an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors; ». A definition that is as fascinating as it is vague, but how do people actually perceive landscapes?
With the presentation and photographic narrative itinerary “Paesaggi invisibili”, Gianluca Tramutola explores the theme of landscape perception with various aesthetic, scientific and cultural interpretations, reflecting on how the visual experience of landscapes becomes, in reality, an ever-changing journey through ourselves.
The presentation/lecture is in English with short quotations in Italian, English and Dutch by landscape consultant and designer Gianluca Tramutola and in combination with the exhibition and projection of his relevant photographs and objects about 25 invisible landscapes` cases.
exhibition: 30th October – 13th November 2015
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Keizersgracht 564, 1017 EM Amsterdam – The Netherlands
↑ Istituto Italiano di Cultura Amsterdam
↑ A corner of the exhibition with objects, texts, photographs and the mirroring objects ↓
↑ «People perceive landscapes through the ‛filter’ of their cultural and life experiences, and they are often influenced by their emotions and other sensations, or even simply by the opinions and conventions of others, which may exclude critical thinking…» G.T.
↑ «the experience of landscapes becomes, in reality, an ever-changing journey through ourselves» G.T.
↓ a selection of 5 of the 25 the invisible landscapes cases exhibited
Rural Landscapes in Europe November 2014 – my photograph ‘Water landscapes: rural fascination in North Holland’ selected among the 10 selected of the ‘Rural Landscapes in Europe’ Photography competition at the XI CEDIA European Conference in Bruxelles.
Research and vision over landscape perception from train and road infrastructures.
‘Reuse and landscape transformations along Ferrovie Sud Est’, Zollino (Italy) – 2012
The transforming identity of the landscape of Salento is perceived in a short lapse of time through the use of train infrastructure. The awareness of what is happening around the train tracks, as expected, changes considerably depending on the observers’ point of view, cultural background and actual interest in the subject.
The attention focuses on the transformations and landscape fragmentation along the network Ferrovie Sud Est in the heel of Italy, which has the peculiarity to connect villages and stations which were/are meaningful for the transportation of agricultural goods. The stations are mainly situated in rural or periurban areas, so that the experience when travelling by train is that of a fast, but intimate perception of the countryside. My landscape vision is linked to the re-use strategies of non functional station buildings along the network, that was initiated and developed by Association Rete dei Caselli Sud Est – Arch. Claudia Valentini
also presented at: DNA ITALIA 2013 Lingotto fiere Torino
A project aimed at harnessing the huge potential for economic and social growth offered by the Italian cultural and landscape heritage – Conference Aiapp (Italian Association of Landscape Architecture) – in collaboration with Rete dei Caselli Sud Est – Arch. Claudia Valentini – 18th-19th April 2013 Torino (Italy).
Paesaggi di pietra / Landscapes of stone
A photographic itinerary through the landscapes of Apulia
Istituto Italiano di Cultura Amsterdam – 2010
The recognition of the role played by the landscape as a key element of individual and society well being and quality of life is becoming more and more widespread and so is the role of the landscape as witness of the different European cultural identities. European citizens live, work and spend their leisure time in a territory that undergoes constant processes of transformation and evolution, that often lead to an unpredictable loss of environmental and visual qualities.
The understanding and appreciation of local landscape features and stratifications of man-made signs, become the starting point for their conservation and for a correct development of landscape planning strategies. Reaching a better level of awareness of those intangible aspects in the landscape, that are often hidden to the eyes of the people not involved with an active role in decision-making on landscape policies, means also recognizing our landscapes in terms of cultural heritage.
With Paesaggi di pietra (landscapes of stone), landscape designer Gianluca Tramutola explores some aspects of the cultural landscapes of Apulia, and he gives an insight on the peculiarities of this area of the Italian landscape in which the action of man has always had a strong impact on the image and development of the landscape.
↑ vineyards, trulli and dry stone walls in Valle d’Itria
↓ stone quarries around Cursi-Melpignano
The presentation is thought as a commented photographic itinerary through the Mediterranean landscape of the region, whose karst nature is the starting point to understand how the action of man has shaped and transformed an arid, harsh and rocky landscape turning it into one of the most productive and fascinating ones of Southern Italy.
The ‘man-made’ identity of the rural landscape of Apulia emerges through the exploration of the theme of stone, which both as a limiting factor for agricultural practices and as protagonist of the environmental resources and scenic beauty of the region, it reveals the strong millenarian bond between the local populations and their land.
↑ Trani’s cathedralinfo and texts in Dutch and Italian
september 2016 – I am invited among the tutors for the Artist-in-residence programs ‘Serre delle arti Territori di Pietra’ in the stone quarry landscapes around Cursi (Italy). Several international artists are called to study and express their creativity in the astonishing landscapes generated by the stone extraction with all their conflictual aspects between economical use and critical environmental issues.
december 2012 – teaching and leading the excursion at the stone quarries in Cursi (Italy) with the students of the Master in landscape architecture and urbanism from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture
↑ stone quarries between Cursi and Melpignano ↓
MiBACT Digital evasions – Coastline of Apulia – Landscapes heal: two of my photographies selected for a video about coastal landscapes of Region Puglia (Italy) link
copyright © 2020 Gianluca Tramutola – sap landscape consultancy & design