Apnea Project

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Vanessa Vozzo & Stefano Sburlati
Exhibition in Public Space
Apnea Project explores the life-threatening experience of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in its emotional aspect. Through a progression along three immersive environments, viewers are guided through an itinerary consisting of multimedia projections, found objects and documentary material related to the tragic shipwrecks in the Mediterranean of recent years, environments that lead them to confront their own fears and emotions. The escalating intensity of the experience corresponds to degrees of interactivity along a mapping-out of emotions relatable to anyone.
Visitors begin with a display of photographs, videos, written excerpts and objects salvaged from the sea, sometimes by migrants themselves. The materials, many of which are directly connected to the tragic shipwreck of October 3, 2013, where some 360 migrants found their death, are introduced into a soundscape aimed at reconstructing experiences in real-time, turning these objects into testimonial artifacts.
The sea becomes a central element in the next two episodes, where the level of immersion and intensity rises. In the first of these, an interactive projection evokes a dive to the bottom of the sea. As visitors experience these primordial depths, they are confronted with the rawness of real voices. In the next environment they are surrounded by a 360-degrees video projection that plunges them to the sea around Lampedusa.
The Apnea Project is based on an idea by Vanessa Vozzo, who co-curated the project together with Stefano Sburlati. Since its launch in January 2016, the project has involved students, researchers and lecturers from the Turin Polytechnic and Turin University, together with extracurricular participants from different fields.