Developed within the framework of the Project “Isolario Venzia Sylva” 2022. Prin “Sylva”, Unità di ricerca Iuav di Venezia. It elaborates on the abandoned San Secondo Island in the venetian lagoon, and on the concept of wilderness.
Beyond the thick undergrowth which infests the island, the unveiled forest isn’t made of vegetation. Instead, it coincides with the tangle of regulations that impose the mimesis of the nineteenth century layout, the reconstruction and restoration of what has been irretrievably lost. The body of the island that once was monastery, military garrison, fireworks factory, lazaret, casket of the sacred remains of San Secondo, is however the result of other human and non-human actions, inscribed in the centuries-old history of the place: miracle, profanation, expansion, demolition, interdiction, explosion, erosion, overgrowth, poisoning. The logic of Reliquiarium is triggered by this sequence of actions: the ruins of the island, architectural materials rather than ashes for contemplation, are drowned in a concrete disc that redefines the landing and the walkable platform, dotted with holes where the ruderal vegetation can grow.