Et in terra Pacis is a project that tells three stories that have crossed from 1960 to today a symbolic place in the history of the territory of Salento: the former t.r.c. (temporary residence center) Regina Pacis.
An emblematic and metaphorical place, born in the ’60s as a summer camp for children, in 1998 it became the largest Italian c.p.t., then ended up in the center of judicial scandals for the violence suffered by refugees and today is an eco monster in ruins that should become a five-star resort.
Luca Coclite has visually reworked this story with the work “Hall”: a multimedia display where three realities touch each other at the edge of the screen without interruption and communicate with the viewer in an immersive way. The structure that contains the videos, with the images and objects selected by the artist, forms a constellation where materiality and immateriality are part of the same scenario.
The project, born from an idea by Luca Coclite in collaboration with the director Mattia Epifani, was curated and produced by Ramdom thanks to the support of the call SIAE | Sillumina – Copia privata per i giovani, per la cultura and MIBACT.
The former Regina Pacis refugee reception center is located in the south-eastern part of the Salento peninsula, on the Adriatic coast, in the seaside resort of San Foca. The building looks like a large concrete box corroded by the north wind and sea breeze, a grey barracks in contrast with the maritime environment that surrounds it, a detention facility with sea view. Throughout its history the Regina Pacis, has been many things. It was built in the late ’60s, designed to be a summer camp for children in the province of Lecce, the colony closes in the mid-’80s. In 1998 it became a residence center for refugees, the largest in Italy, the c.p.t. closed in 2006. Remaining in ruins for ten years, today it is about to be transformed into an extra luxury hotel. This place seems to embody with its history and that of the men who have gone through it and lived the history of the land of Salento with its transformations. A contradictory and frontier place that, like the Salento territory, from 1960 to today, has experienced a profound metamorphosis marked by different moments and phases of its history: the era of tradition and popular dimension (now lost), the years of immigration (from the Balkans and North Africa) and the era of mass tourism. The Regina Pacis is a place of passage, a home of temporary stories, a “thing” in a transformation that chameleonically assume in every age the form and function that the present entrusts to him. Like a modern concrete fortress, the ‘place’ is crossed by the stories of women and men who have lived it, remaining, in its concreteness, indifferent to their destinies.
THREE HISTORICAL PERIODICALS
The former Regina Pacis reception centre is a three-sided place, a building that has taken on three different forms and social functions since its inception, all of which can be traced back to living. There are several people who have lived there, children of the 60’s, migrants in the 90’s and probably tourists who will live there in the near future, when the building will be converted into a 5-star hotel.