Il cantiere infinito (The Infinite Site)Enrico Capra (1934 - 2014)




San Daniele Po, Lombardy, 26046, Italy

About the Artist/Site

Enrico Capra lived all his life in the house where he was born in the small village of San Daniele Po, in the Cremona area of Italy. When he was nine years old his father died from appendicitis, a misfortune that may have had a profound influence on Capra's relation with his mother, as the young boy blamed her for not taking better care of her husband. He lived with his mother until she died in 1970 and never married; his life was isolated and marked with a certain anxiety and restlessness.

Although he would have preferred to become a carpenter, Capra took a job as a mason, like his father. He directed most of his efforts to adapting his own house, primarily by decorating its exterior walls and adjusting its layout. He dramatically changed the appearance of the exterior walls through the addition of decorative terracotta bricks that he carved and sculpted, as well as concrete ornaments created from molds he fabricated himself, and he also modified the existing building by constructing balustrades, balconies, and columns, mitigating the house's rectilinear appearance with the insertion of circular forms. After he retired in 1994, he worked on improving his house every day, from early morning to late evening.

A dome constructed at the rear of the house, may represent the celestial firmament. Together, all the elements added to the house express harmony and symmetry, and have redefined it into a kind of sacred place where one can safely reside, shielded from the outside world. Decorative constructs inside the house, such as a large oval wooden couch in the kitchen area, enhanced with many pillows and blankets, contribute to this experience of shelter, by offering an intimate place to retreat.

At the time of this writing, Enrico Capra, now in his late seventies, is still actively transforming and decorating the house where he was born and where he will, no doubt, live out the rest of his life.

~Cristina Calicelli/Henk van Es


Update: Enrico Capra passed away on January 17, 2014. 

Map & Site Information

San Daniele Po, Lombardy, 26046 it
Latitude/Longitude: 45.0665609 / 10.1771571

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