Mikhail Karikis

Children of Unquiet, 2013

Exhibiting 04 October – 14 December at Site Gallery

The energy of the steaming landscape and bubbling muddy waters of The Devil’s Valley in Tuscany (boric acid fumaroles) was first harnessed in 1904, marking the invention of green energy production. Home to one of the largest geothermal factories, recent technological automation devastated the surrounding village communities that once housed over 5000 workers and which now lie near-empty.

The fourth in a quartet of works that explore histories of labour, artist Mikhail Karikis has collaborated closely with a community of children from the area to re-imagine the landscape of their upbringing. Striking, sonorous topography lined with anachronistic, futuristic piping systems create an eerie landscape into which the children, aged between 5 and 12, enact what the artist describes as a ‘take-over’. In the resulting film, the children occupy the deserted natural, residential and industrial sites by playing in the scorching vaporous wasteland. Reading philosophical texts about love and bio-politics amongst the dilapidated modernist villages, and singing the roaring geothermal sounds of geysers, the incessant hum of industrial drones and the unremitting whistling of steam pushing forth from the earth, they voice the soundscapes of their childhood.

Mikhail Karikis was born in Greece and lives in London, his work has been shown at the Danish Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Manifesta 9, Tate and the Barbican.

Children of Unquiet is a co-commission between Art Sheffield and Radio Papesse. Thanks to the Sydney Biennial.

  • Mikhail Karikis Image Children of Unquiet, 2013. Location shot.