Mikhail Karikis’s film explores the relationship between land, industry and community
Children of Unquiet (2013–14) was created with a group of forty-five children living in the Devil’s Valley, Italy, a volcanically-active region in Tuscany that inspired Dante’s Inferno. The site of the world’s first geothermal power plant, the area has recently become depopulated following the automation of the process of generating energy.
Karikis’s film orchestrates a speculative children’s take-over of an industrial village abandoned by their parents’ generation. These children explore the village through song and play. They read from philosophical texts by Toni Negri and Michael Hardt, and imitate sounds they hear – hissing steam, subterranean rumbling and industrial droning – to create an aural portrait of the area.
Karikis’s film presents the timeless power of the area’s natural landscape in counterpoint to the decay of its settlements and socio-economic structures. It also suggests the possibility of collective expression and imaginative resistance for future generations.
Part of the In-Focus programme at Tate St Ives.