Agostino Quaranta
Quanto potrebbe costare il ritorno del lago?
curated by
Andrea Croce per Threes
Gioia dei Marsi (AQ), Abruzzo

The project emerged from Agostino Quaranta’s desire to express the memories submerged below the lake’s waters. Lake Fucino was the third-largest lake in Italy, before it was drained by a complex system of channels in order to create agricultural land. Later, the lake bed became the site for some of the most important peasant revolts in the years after the Second World War, and still today it is a location of rich imagery, whose history has been explored for centuries, making it a constantly-debated topical theme.
Quaranta’s work comprises three site-specific operations, which spread to encompass the entire town.
Opifex is a video work positioned in a disused trading facility, and it includes film footage, archive images, audio tracks and recordings. The artist handles these elements as for a flow of archive material, to explore the impact that the lake’s drainage had on the settlement, without a real historical pretext, but purely in terms of imagery.
Outside, eight banners were installed in the area rebuilt immediately after the 1915 earthquake. They depict views of the Fucino plain, artificially created using 3D modelling, with a series of renderings of the scene as if the lake were still present.
Lastly, from the water at Fonte Vecchia (Old Spring) emerges a text in aluminium from which the project’s title was taken. This is a quote from Abruzzo writer Emidio Agostinoni: “Quanto potrebbe costare il ritorno del lago?” (What could be the price of the lake’s return?). The spring, that was once supplied by the same sources of water that flowed into Lake Fucino, now symbolises an important location, commemorating the destruction of lives and memories.
The artist’s work aims at posing questions on the delicate relationship between man, nature, means of production and the importance of historical memory, reinterpreted in poetry and imagery.

Agostino Quaranta, Quanto potrebbe costare il ritorno del lago?, 2024. Aluminium, 35 x 300 x 0,3 cm.
Fonte Vecchia di Via Marso Sarentina, 5

02. Agostino Quaranta, Opifex, 2024. environmental installation, video, 7 min. variable dimension.
Piazza Savoia, 8
Opening hours: Sat- Sun 6 - 8 pm. All others days by appointment. Please call: +39 327 2385846 (Alessandra Roselli)

03. Agostino Quaranta, Vedute, 2024. 8 PVC banner printing, 100 x 200 cm. ㅤ
Banners addresses:
3a. SS83 Marsicana 6
3b. SS83 Marsicana 7
3c. Largo Gabriele Pepe
3d. Largo Raffelele Paolucci
3e. Via Campomizzo 10
3f. Largo Giuseppe Garibaldi
3g. Largo Filippo Masci
3h. Via Elchiorpe Delfico 3

Drawing inspiration from the words of Evidio Agostinoni, “How much could the return of the lake cost?... Sentimental Dream!”, the project embarks on a sentimental and reflective journey. It serves as an invitation to contemplate the value of our natural heritage and to weigh the implications of human interventions on the world that surrounds us.

Agostino Quaranta (Bari, Italy, 1994) is an interdisciplinary artist, DJ, and music producer based in London. He completed his master’s degree in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2019, where he also won a residency award at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. His work is profoundly influenced by the concept of microhistory and explores themes such as collective memory and the role of sound in urban contexts. Delving into the complexities of small units of investigation, Quaranta develops works ranging from site-specific installations to mixed-media projects including video albums, fanzines, radio broadcasts, collages, prints, and drawings. Since 2018, he has been leading Turbo Sud, a project aimed at documenting both contemporary and traditional music scenes of Southern Italy, mixing factual archival activities with imaginative interventions. In 2023, he released two EPs under the moniker AGOSTINO with labels Le Chatroom (UK) and Hundebiss (IT). In 2022, he presented Turbo Sud Lab, a solo exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, accompanied by a performance in James Turrell's Deer Shelter Skyspace. In 2021, he published an essay on the traditional rhythms of Southern Italy and their intersections with electronic music on Quaranta regularly performs as a DJ at various electronic music festivals and clubs. Additionally, he is a monthly resident on Radio Alhara and has broadcast on international radio stations such as NTS, Rinse France, Foundation FM, and Radio Raheem.

My work is influenced by the concept of micro-history and explores notions such as collective memory and the role of sound in the urban context. It takes shape in works ranging from site specific installations to mixed-media projects, such as videos, music albums, fanzines, radio broadcasts, collages, prints and drawings.

Gioia dei Marsi (AQ)

Gioia dei Marsi is a town in the Marsica area, with ancient origins, running back to pre-Roman and Roman periods.
A true gateway to the Abruzzo National Park – whose territory can be reached from the town – this village has origins running back to the 10th century, after the Saracen invasion, when the villages on the plain were abandoned in preference for areas at higher altitudes. The survivors from the three villages of Campomizzo, Templo and Montagnano thus built Gioia Vecchio and later settled further down in the valley, constituting the village of Manaforno, which was destroyed in the 1915 earthquake, which led to the origin of the current town.
Today, Gioia dei Marsi is an important agricultural and agro-industrial centre, whose companies export products from the Fucino area to all parts of Italy and further afield. Focused on the future, Gioia dei Marsi proudly preserves its ancestors’ culture, along with traditions consolidated over the years, linked to a history of work, activity and religious devotion. The town can be considered as one of the pearls of the Fucino district by virtue of its healthy air, genuine cuisine with a wealth of flavours, its many cultural events, a packed calendar of sports activities, and the well-integrated social structure.

Thanks to: Gianluca Alfonsi, Nicola Antonelli, Sabina Aureli, Alessandra Roselli, Marzia Graziani, Simplicio Ciaccia, Rolando Panfili, Piccola biblioteca marsicana.