6 channels HD video installation, loop, 2016, c-prints on Canson fine-art paper, variable sizes, 2016 Pvc wallstickers, 2016
produced by Gelateria Sogni di Ghiaccio, in collaboration with School of popular music Ivan Illic, Bologna
Arcadia is an operation of rediscovery of private heroism and the symbolic shadows within the common imagination. It is composed by a series of photographs, a 6 channel HD video and a performance. The installation ‘Arcadia. First attempt’ is composed by a series of videos taken in private homes in Bologna and some big format photographs. In the video installation young musicians alongside their grandparents practice unusual melody exercises with their instruments. The key element is a scenery backdrops of celestial backgrounds which I have introduced in the homes as a estranging and relational device. The private mythologizing of these scenes is alternated by moments of when the galaxy is used like a wandering backdrop in the industrial suburbs of the city, activated by the presence of two young teenagers. ‘Arcadia. Second Attempt’ uses wallpaper stickers from scientific symbols which schematise stellar reactions. This reactions relate to small format analogue photographs, in which I captured small gestures of suspension within the space of my home, where old marbles and pieces of the celestial background are used to evoke a break in the artistic process. “Arcadia. Third Attempt’ is made out of a series of analogue film photographs in which the human presence within is shown less. The scenography used in the houses is dismantled and I reinstalled its components at dawn on the top of one of the mountains of the Regional Park of the Gessi Bolognesi (a pristine natural park in the middle of Italy) and photographed with a medium format analogue camera in the early morning. This way the construction of the image becomes a physical act in which the arrival towards the summit is sustained by the leap towards the icon.
“Arcadia. First attempt”, inkjet print, ed. of 3,150cm x 100cm , 2016 + 40cm x 60 cm, 2016 ed. of 3
For the Arcadia. First Attempt video
installation, you had to enter the homes of many people, collecting intimate
moments over which, as an artist, you had very limited control. What is it that
interests you about these kinds of relational situations, that evolve as they
Working with people, and not actors or professional performers, inevitably
asks you to engage with error, lack of control and moments of dissonance. I was
interested in working with the specific situation, in which two generations,
poles apart, manage to create a sort of bubble together, which breaks away from
their internal sense of time and other goings-on. A parenthesis, which exists
in spite of obligations, current aspirations or what the future might hold. A
moment, almost mythical, which often in the course of life is transformed by
memory. Working with an image like this and filming it in the everyday, gives
added force to its sense of juxtaposition. There is less weight given to the
idea of an archetype and at the same, the celestial bodies in the background
and turned up side-down in the carts of the adolescence of the two young girls,
attempt to elevate the everyday without creating falseness.
installation View, Gelateria Sogni di Ghiaccio, 2016
The central thread of this work is a scenographic backdrop of the
celestial sphere, which has strong pop connotations. What brought you to this
aesthetic and what impact does it have on your work?
Whilst the backdrop of the milky way taken from NASA, may have been
transformed into a common, glossy image, it remains an ancient symbol. I am
interested in working with symbols in their new everyday forms. The misuse of
certain images holds a link to iconography which has changed its outward
appearance but not its contents. Since Tropici I have tried to work with the
imagination of people, without judgment. Palms in front of a turquoise ocean or
brilliant galaxies in the starred night sky are images that people constantly
seek out and of which they do not get bored, even if they are mishandled and
overused. The idea of Eden and of a universe beyond the capacity of our
knowledge touch something deep down in what it means to be human.
Arcadia. First Attempt, 6 HD channel video installation, 2016 (frame stills) TRAILER LINK
In Arcadia the videos are ‘samples’ of other dimensions, which try to
absorb the time of the homes in which they find themselves and the peripheral
zones in which the two young girls move around. They are a kind of opening
without filters onto other worlds. As such there is hardly any editing and the
light is completely natural, unmodified by any artificial source.
The photographs on the other had are keyholes, which morph in line with
the internal key of the spectator. They do not take you to a specific time, the
place and space are elastic and soft, more malleable. The two timeframes and
the difference in approach of these two languages, intertwine in the emptiness
between them, and create a constructed, mediated memory.