The project is a video work based on a feature length 16mm film, IL CONTRATTO, directed by Giorgio Mangiamele, with a group of migrant actors, in early 1950’s. A feature length drama of loneliness, friendship and communal bonds, of four young men, newly arrived immigrants from Italy, in their common struggle to find work, overcome adversities and begin a new life in the new country. Lack of post- production resources prevented Mangiamele from ever completing the post-production dubbing of the sound track.
The project focuses on the re-making of the silent sound track of the originating film. It envisions a viewer listening to and watching silent mages on a screen doubled over (displaced) to another place and time.
Using the figure of the ‘migrant’ as a central poetical trope, it explores analogies and correspondences between the unfinished archival images of the artefact and sound images, exterior to it from another time and place – like abandoned houses left in ruins, and reinhabited by foreign, itinerant, provisional occupants. .
The migrant – in its dimensions as conceptual entity, human subject and social group – is imagined as an agent of change and transformation, rather than exclusion, as was the case in the original drama.