The Innocence of Places: Chronicle of a Pilgrimage

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


A few days before Christmas 2014, it was the 22nd of December, I was lying on the bed in my hotel room trying to make sense of the feelings that had mounted up confusedly inside me in the last few hours. I was in Istanbul, it was a late Monday night. In the morning, I had visited for the first time Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence in Beyoğlu, and then talked with its young Director, Onur Karaouglu. The I had spent the rest of the day in Nişantaşı e Beşiktaş, visiting the places of the Museum of Innocence (this time I mean the novel). About one year before, in February 2014, I had contacted the then Director of the Museum of Innocence (I mean the actual museum, not the novel), proposing to partner up for a scientific project entitled “The Geography of Stories”. Four years earlier, in year 2010, I had read for the first time the Museum of Innocence (meaning the novel) in a moment of my personal life that made it particularly relevant to me. One month later, in the late January 2015, I would be back to Istanbul to meet again Onur and finally Pamuk himself, for a long conversation on the project both in his studio and over dinner, in a small tavern packed of people.

That night then, supine on the bed, I wrote a long note that I have conserved and aim to bring to the conference—unchanged—as my personal contribution. I jotted down those notes in the form of a story, that of a project that we now call “The Innocence of Places” after the title of the catalogue of the Museum of Innocence (meaning the real museum, not the novel): “The Innocence of Objects”. The project stemmed from a bulk of questions, experiences and feelings; a rather heterogeneous material in fact, which floated in the air in the same way a flock of swallows does in spring—with speed, screeching, but also with a beauty that is full of energy, youth and drama—around this: around what time does to our lives; meaning the material form that they take after time has passed.

These notes are therefore the chronicle of the rise of a question that I take is very pertinent to the conference: what is it that generates sense in places? And further questions around the first: what is it this “sense” that we are talking about? And what stories have to do with this all?
Period5 May 2017
Event titleArchiletture: Forma e narrazione tra architettura e letteratura
Event typeConference
LocationBologna, Italy
Degree of RecognitionInternational