Catastrophe is a word related to Greek tragedy, indicating the reversal of the story that dissolves the plot and leads to catharsis. If in Greek tragedy the human arrogance, which leads to catastrophe, is declined towards the divine, in 19 JULY 1985 the human hýbris is accomplished towards the alpine landscape. Here the catastrophe is literal; it is the reversal of the whitish mud deposited in the sedimentation basins that swept away the Stava Valley. The void, left by the mudflow, materializes the unrepresentability of this tragedy. The only possibility is the chorus as, since the Greek tragedy, it is a declaration of war against naturalism in art. Within this battle, 19 JULY 1985 becomes a tragedy unfolding in space rather than time; an installation for Centrale Fies. The scenery deconstructs itself in infinite directions and crystallizes its movements by freezing them in the initial and final instant. The choir becomes a spectre singing Lux Aeterna, whose musical canons are modulated in dissonant rhythms and tempo becoming a very dense sound mass without a clear direction, just like the mudflow: very dense and without a clear direction.

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Val di Stava Disaster
It was a mudflood that occurred at 12:22:55 on July 19, 1985 in Val di Stava in Trentino (IT). The avalanche was caused by the collapse of the banks of the sedimentation basins of the Prestavel mine, which caused the leakage of about 180,000 m³ of mud that violently overwhelmed the village of Stava at a speed of about 90Km/h for a journey of almost 4.2Km. Hundreds of trees, 03 hotels, 53 houses, 06 sheds and 08 bridges were destroyed. 268 people died, 28 of whom were children under 10 years of age, 31 were kids under 18 years of age, 120 were women and 89 were men. In more than 20 years of activity prior to the catastrophe, the landfills were never subjected to serious stability checks by the concessionary companies or to controls by the public offices of the Autonomous Province of Trento, which had the obligation of control. The Ministerial Commission of Inquiry ascertained that "the entire sedimentation plant constituted a continuous threat looming over the valley. The plant collapsed essentially because it was designed, built and managed in such a way as not to offer those safety margins that civil society expects from works that could jeopardise the existence of entire human communities.”



running time

0:40:00.0 in loop


Performative installation


19 JULY 1985
an Alpine tragedy

> installation by OHT | Office for a Human Theatre

> “Lux Aeterna” by György Sándor Ligeti
> “Again – after ecclesiastes” by David Lang
> “ndormenzete popin” Mountain chant

> directing, set-design and text Filippo Andreatta
> dramaturgy Marco Bernardi
> coripheus, music and sound Davide Tomat
> set-design and construction Alberto Favretto
> light-design William Trentini
> stage-manager Viviana Rella
> best-girl Letizia Paternieri
> assistent director Veronica Franchi
> video Armin Ferrari
> producer and administrator Laura Marinelli
> promotion and curating Laura Artoni
> expert gardener Cleto Matteotti
> sound technician Claudio Tortorici
 electronic development and automation Enrico Wiltch
> animal spirit the Deer

> production OHT
> co-production Romaeuropa Festival, Centro Santa Chiara Trento
> artistic residency Centrale Fies art work space
> supported by Fondazione Caritro, Provincia Autonoma di Trento
> under the patronage of Fondazione Stava 1985

> installation version co-produced by Centrale Fies art work space

production history

from 17.VII.20 to 08.VIII.2020 > Dro, Centrale Fies

number of replica