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Lecture - Making a Splash by Peter Greenaway

  • Fondazione Franco Maria Ricci Strada Provinciale Fontanellato San Secondo Parmense, Emilia-Romagna, 43017 Italy (map)

Making a Splash by Peter Greenaway

Over the years first unselfconsciously and then with growing consciousness, I made films about water.  It hardly needs to be stressed - water is extremely photogenic whether as cloud, fog, mist, snow, hail, rain, ice, lake, stream, river, sea or ocean. Or tears. Drip, splash, roar, trickle. The Earth is called The Blue Planet and its water is evident from outer space. Our human bodies are sixty per cent water – drain and squeeze away the water and there would be little left. On average around the world, a human needs to take in two litres or four pints of water every day. Seventy one per cent of the earth’s surface is covered in water. The first thing we search for in our desire to contact aliens is the presence of water. We can anticipate the coming Water-Wars. The seas are rising, parts of the world are already newly flooded. 

I live in Holland – my front door is three and a half metres below sea-level. Don’t worry - Holland – at least for the moment - is superlatively protected. When a flood happens in New Orleans or a Russian submarine goes missing in the North Sea - the Dutch are the first to be on site. A third of Holland was not there three hundred years ago – it was under the sea. There are eleven thousand miles of dyke built since 1200 to push the sea back.

Water can be a legitimate reason to take your clothes off, to be naked, to be clean, to bathe and to swim - but of course also to drown.

Here are some twenty examples of my foray into filming water. There are many different contexts, fiction and documentary, realistic, surrealistic, prosaic and poetic, straight forward and ironic. A beneficent friend, a terrible master. The biblical flood wiped out Creation. It could do so again.


Friday 23 March 21.30
Labirinto di Franco Mario Ricci
Strada Masone 121- Fontanellato

The event will be in English. Headphones for simultaneous translation will be included in the cost of the ticket.

Ticket: € 24

Photo of Peter Greenaway by Igor Mandic and  stills of Drowning by Numbers & European Showerbath