Giuseppe Licari

In Belval, much of the earth is composed from slag, a byproduct of the steelmaking process. Until recently slag has had little value, but now it is getting used extensively within the construction industry to build roads and to mix with cement. This newly constituted terroir in south Luxembourg is being mined again and slag, the byproduct, has become a product in its own right.

For The Promised LandGiuseppe Licari documents this Anthropocene topography, as an eighteenth century explorer in search of the sublime. The photographs he produces are highly ambiguous and their toxic beauty captivating. The landscapes they depict seem untouched by humans, reminiscent of a prehistoric age, when they are in fact entirely created through human intervention. They are primal, almost biblical in scale; thrusting mountains erupt from milky lakes, distant trees appear shrouded in mist, rivers of molten lava and heavy ominous clouds frame cracked and broken plains.

From this sterile landscape Licari has collected slag stones forming the Migrants installation. Each of these stones has its own unique character. Its weight, form and colour depend on the composition of the minerals that it contains and the manner in which it has cooled down.

An artist’s book Schlak featuring the photographs of The Promised Land has been published by Fonds Belval in June 2016.


88 Gifford Street, London, N1 0DF

00 44 (0)7859 713 853

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