"759 KM" is not just the title of his project, focused on the Lazio case cantoniere (“roadman’s houses”), but also the number of kilometres he travelled to complete it.
By moving from one place to another in the region, wandering around with interest and enthusiasm, with the magical gaze of someone who knows how to walk and wait, Bongarzone managed to nestle one image after another, like precious stones in an antique necklace, the rare shells in a world that has now disappeared, but that re-emerge piece by piece, as if it were a fossil, and so is still with us.
What remains of the old roadman’s houses? How will their colour fade, that Pompeii red, so characteristic and nostalgic? Will they be knocked down? Will they be emptied? How long will the older generations remember them for? And the new ones? Will anyone, passing by them along the roads, stop to look at them for a few moments?
By almost joining up the many points of a giant star, Marzio Antonio Borgonzone has managed to create something that did not exist before, a true map of the Lazio roadman’s houses.
Searched for, found, photographed, recorded, they now exist on a special dedicated chart, an itinerary that tells their tale and asks questions about them in our times; a time in which these houses can seem almost curious. These tiny buildings built for road maintenance workers: anonymous but familiar, reserved but visible.
Bongarzone’s idea, conceived a year ago, has led him to expand his horizons, also involving other regions and thus going beyond those 759 kilometres.
Where will it take him? Probably wherever there is a little red house that mustn’t be forgotten, an old wall to greet and make immortal yet again.
The story has been written by Angela Bubba, writer.