Unfinished Museum


Claudia Mollese, 2016, Melbourne, Stio
  • Claudia Mollese
  • 2016
  • Images - Unfinished to unblock
  • a dozen magnetic strips, a handwritten poem, three Super 8, photo archive.
  • 017/2020
  • 2 hours of filming.
  • Claudia Mollese

I have an unfinished work that is a film on the theme of travel not only from the point of view of those who leave but above all from one of the people who remain. In the 1950s, my grandfather Rocco’s brother left with other first and second cousins ​​from Stio, a hamlet of Rose in the province of Cosenza, for Australia. Another fellow villagers had preceded them and others followed them later. The uncle had recorded audio to tell what he saw and wrote a poem during the 40 days of travel. Over the years between the fellow villagers who left and their families that remained in Calabria, there was an exchange of messages and stories. People in Stio gathered to listen to the messages and the news all together and in turn recorded greetings and updates from the various families to send to Australia. It was a collective correspondence through the shipment of sound tapes and some homemade movies. I have always loved filming my grandfather, in the countryside or while driving, and he has always seen me with the camera in hand. On December, 4 years ago, he told me: “I’ll let you hear something.” We went into the house, he took the Geloso – he still had the original tape recorder. He loaded the magnetic strips and he started playing the tapes with the stories. I immediately understood the inestimable value of that material. For Christmas, he also gave me the transcriptions he made, in particular the poem his brother had composed while travelling. Then I thought about making a film. A film to tell the journey from the side of those who remain, while other people leave, but I’m interested in investigating Penelope. My grandfather is Penelope. The town is Penelope. I am interested in the imaginary of those who remain fed on, thinking of the many families here, who do not know what their loved ones will find there and if they will ever return and see them again. I have already digitized Super 8 which have beautiful images. There are baptisms, lunch tables, but I have not yet digitized the most fragile tapes. I have a lot of material, photographs, archives, sound bands. I started shooting, then I stopped the project also because I failed to find the recordings sent by Stio in the archives of Melbourne. My grandfather told me how they got together to record stories and that one day they found themselves at my great-grandmother’s house who wanted to update them on the construction of the new aqueduct in the town. I need a material that up to now I have not been able to find to continue my work. The film is still untitled. For me, the title usually emerges at the end of the work. Sometimes maybe it’s already there before, but I see it clearly only at that moment. I desire to make this film. On the one hand, something has to mature inside me too, on the other I would certainly like to access the missing material, perhaps making the journey to Melbourne.

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