Garibaldi 99


Eleonora Roaro, “fregüia”
Single-channel video | 3’00’’
1920×1080 HD 16:9
Sound: In.Visible
Edition 3 + AP | 2020

Eleonora Roaro, “I silenti sogni entrarono così nella sala” [“Thus the silent dreams entered the theatre”]
Single-channel video | 2’00” (loop)
1920×1080 HD 16:9 | Silent
Edition 3 + AP | 2020

Eleonora Roaro, “Cinema Paris”
Digital collage, 2020

Developed during the residency at Casa degli Artisti in Milano, the project “Garibaldi 99” focuses on archival material and oral testimonies related to the cinema theatre situated in Corso Garibaldi 99, Milano – a few meters from the residency location – known as the Garibaldi Cinema (1906-1962), the Paris Cinema (1964-1989) and Multisala Brera (1994-2008). Having run for 100 years as a neighbourhood cinema, it was an important cultural and meeting place for local inhabitants. 

An installation aims to link together heterogeneous archival materials with layers of images, projections, sound and videos. In this way, the socio-economical and urban changes stem from the micro-historical studies and value is given to the spectators’ memories and habits.
A digital collage of a photograph and a blueprint of the cinema from the 60s is enlarged and projected on the wall. The phrase “I silenti sogni entrarono così nella sala” [“thus silent dreams entered the theatre”] concludes Carlo Emilio Gadda’s story “Cinema” (1931), which ends with the beginning of a silent film screening at Cinema Garibaldi. This phrase becomes a beam of light projected into the room, evoking the primal dimension of the cinematic experience.
In the video “fregüia” (crumb in Milanese dialect), a spectator’s testimony is transformed into visual material, linked to the presence of a Motta store near the cinema and the consumption of sweets during the screenings. A Buondì, the first snack to be industrially produced in Italy by Motta since 1953, first wrapped in plastic, is crushed between the hands of the artist and reduced until there is nothing left. In this way, a testimony linked to cinema becomes, in turn, visual material. On the one hand, it represents a cross-section of Italian history based on the production and consumption of packaged food; on the other, it is a metaphor for archival work, carried out from incomplete traces, scraps, and crumbs.
In five podcasts (“Piazzale Loreto”, “Marialuisa”, “Cinema Garibaldi/Paris/Brera”, “fregüia” and “Gadda” the artist’s voice and excerpts of interviews reveal the research process. A grey binder contains fragments of books, documents from archives (particularly Archivio Civico Fotografico, Cineteca Milano, Cittadella degli Archivi), transcripts of interviews and podcasts, emails, and notes. In this way, together with archival sources, both the research process and the failed attempts are valorised showing the difficulties of historical investigation and restitution.