Punta Sottile is the southernmost point of Italy, an extreme strip of the island of Lampedusa where the land gently turns to sea
Here, in a fairly distant past, the jagged bank of rock was hewn to supply construction stone. The human hand unknowingly shaped a mystical and archaic place, removed from historic time. A stone’s throw from the cliff, the earth sinks into a sea of goldcoloured stone that dissipates the clear-cut horizon, the water that Sciascia, and Homer long before him, described as the colour of wine. Chambers excavated in the ground with windows looking only onto the sky. The stone bears the signs left by the work: rhythmic, repeated vertical cuts that furrow the rock walls like wounds. Sometimes one gives a home to a seed that, if fortunate, becomes a flower. It is, perhaps, the only place where the island loses sight of its sea: it can be smelt and heard but the eye records its absence, the void and the loss.
What other place could better contain the memory of what the island has been in our recent history: landing place, anchor, dinghy and tomb. Life and death are interlinked in Vincenzo Latina’s design idea and the quarry is asked to contain both: to lend a voice to the memory of one of the largest and most desperate migrations of our times while, at the same time, doing justice to the island’s tourist vocation, with a space for concerts and theatre performances.