Micol Roubini: “The Magic Mountain”

10.4.2024. in 18.30h

On Wednesday, April 10th, at 6:30 PM, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art will present the film “The Magic Mountains” by Italian artist Micol Roubini. “The Magic Mountain”* is among the winning projects of the 11th edition of the Italian Council.

Prior to the film screening, the visitors will have the opportunity to see an introductory video interview with the artist.

The Magic Mountain takes place in northern Italy, not far from Turin, a densely populated area. Yet in the nearby villages of Corio and Balangero and the adjacent disused asbestos quarry, an atmosphere of suspended time prevails. Active from 1918 to 1990, the Amiantifera was Europe’s largest open-pit quarry. Today the area is at the centre of an extensive decontamination project. The still-legible signs of mining coexist with traces of gradual rewilding and the reappearance of various plant and animal species.

The Magic Mountain explores the multilayered network of relations between human beings and the land. It examines both the process of the recolonisation of the contaminated land by plants and lichens, and the fascination at the origin of the history of the use of asbestos, a mineral that has been considered magical since ancient times due to its fireproof properties. The delicate transition phase that is currently underway contrasts a recent past marked by some of the most complex events in Italian industrial history, and a future reconversion aimed at both self-sufficiency in production and the return of large areas of this mountain, inaccessible for decades, to their surrounding communities.

The oneiric memories of the inhabitants of the area, mostly former mine workers or their relatives, is one of Roubini’s central research trajectories, and a way of investigating their collective unconscious in relation to the complex situation.

*The four-channel video installation has been adapted into a single-channel video for the screening.

The Magic Mountain was created with the support of the Italian Council (11th edition, 2022), the program aimed at supporting Italian contemporary art in the world promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity within the Italian Ministry of Culture. Promoted and produced by Lo schermo dell’arte in cooperation with nctm e l’arte, and implemented in partnership with the Talbot Rice Gallery/University of Edinburgh, PAV Parco Arte Vivente Turin, the Academy of Fine Arts Wien, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art – MMSU Rijeka, and the Cerezales Antonino y Cinia Foundation – FCAYC, Léon.
The work will enter the collection of the MAN Museum of Art of the Province of Nuoro.

Film credits:
screenplay: Micol Roubini
camera: Davide Maldi
1st camera assistant: Tiziano Doria
editing and color grading: Davide Maldi, Micol Roubini
sound field recordings: Giovanni Corona
sound edit and mix: Giancarlo Rutigliano
executive production : L’Altauro
production assistants: Francesca Bennett, Giulio Squarci
technical equipment: L’Altauro, Labbash, Warshad Film, Panalight, Nova Rollfilm
film development and printing: Augustus Color
filmed in Kodak super16mm film

Micol Roubini was born in 1982 in Milan, where she lives and works. She is a graduate of the Brera Academy and the Univeristät der Künste in Berlin. Since 2021 she has been teaching New Languages of Visual Communication at CFP Bauer, Milan. Her research investigates the balance between man and territory, between cultural systems and landscape morphology, between history, migration and individual memories.
She has exhibited at Museo Casa Testori (2021), Premio Matteo Oliviero (2017), Hotel Charleroi (2013). She realised the project Atti clandestini per terre mobili(Fondazione Palazzo Magnani 2021). She participated in video exhibitions at Villa Medici (2021), Pavilion (Poznan 2021), LightCone (Parigi 2017), Scotland’s Centre for Photography (2012).
She has conducted masterclasses (Locarno Film Festival 2022) and participated in residencies including Fondazione Pistoletto (2017), Scottish Sculpture Workshop (2013).
Her film La strada per le montagne (2019), in competition at Cinéma du Réel and other European festivals, won the Corso Salani Prize at the Trieste Film Festival 2020.


The Magic Mountain by Micol Roubini, 2023.
still, 4 channels videoinstallation, 2023, Super 16mm transferred to 2K, sound, 24’30’’
Project realized with the support of the Italian Council (2022)
Courtesy of the artist and Lo schermo dell’arte

Project realised with the support of

Promoted and produced by

With the contribution of