Antti Tanttu, Finland – still image from “Solitude”
Hidden & Forbidden Identities | Venice (Italy)
Itinerary of video projections throughout Venice
In the prestigious spaces of Palazzo Albrizzi in Venice started Ruoli Segreti e Ruoli Proibiti / Hidden & Forbidden Identities, an international videoart festival and photography exhibition which opened the doors on February the 11th with a musical interlude by Enzo Caroli and Simone Rocchi. Fifty-one video artists and twenty-eight photo artists from thirty different countries has been selected to be part of this project. The project has been curated by Luca Curci and Elis Saint Juste and organized by International ArtExpo and The Seven.
“On talking about video art, we are used to white cube spaces and sterile rooms, uncontaminated by the environment and social interferences. This was not the intent of the project planned in Venice, a city where the challenge in contemporary art is quite a different one. The objective was to reconcile the historical heritage, a remarkable quantity of prestigious monuments of universal culture, with the production of international contemporary art. The topic of identity has its ideal place in Venice as it can intensify its philosophical dimension. My proposal to use the most different sites to show a rich range of art videos connects the human mind with space and time and enables us to read history through contemporary art works. The concrete connection of all these places becomes a manual for an intriguing alternative travel into the history of Venice which gets materialized through art, design and architecture.
Contemporaneously with the photo exhibition at Palazzo Albrizzi the video show was on display from Februray 11th to March 10th. The same repertory was presented at the Serra Dei Giardini, situated in the popular quarter Castello, near the Biennale. This representative 18th century building in Liberty style, made in iron and glass, was created to host palm trees and decorative plants used for the Biennale of Arts. After a period of abandon the building is in reuse after an accurate restoring process and turned into a Palm House whose aim is the daily contact with the public, Venetians and tourists and Biennale visitors who appreciate the atmosphere of numerous cultural initiatives in the middle of the jardinière and the neighboring coffee bar. Near to the Serra the Scoletta della Bragora, a building close to the famous Vivaldi Church San Giovanni e Battista in Bragora, and the Church’es Canonica hosted the video show every afternoon. A simple, suggestive Gothic style can be admired in this ancient church which dates from the 8th century. The church, which can be found half hidden in a square behind Venice’s main waterfront, the Riva degli Schiavoni, was rebuilt in the 15th century. It has a magnificent painting above the main altar of Christ’s Baptism by Cima da Conegliano. A wall plaque near the old baptisimal font attests to it being Antonio Vivaldi’s place of baptism in 1678. Noteworth are two paintings by A. Vivarini and J. Palma il Giovane. The occasion to exhibit videos about the most different identities, from poetic fragments to very violent statements, in midst of these beautiful art treasures, demonstrates the open mind of the Parish and of the Cultural Association Arte in Bragora that helped with the organization. Another kind of environment and social dialogue is the Residence for Old People I.R.E., Zitelle, on the Giudecca Island. A contemporary building situated in a huge Park which faces the Southern Lagoons. The staff of the Institute that is also engaged in Alzheimer disease, participate with conviction in cultural events if these proposals are conform with the institutional values and with the practical interpretation of their model of assistance services for aged people.
This means to open a physical and cultural window of the spaces of health treatment in which the artistic expression may present an occasion of confrontation, permeated by emotions and thoughts, a common language in the field of completely different human experiences, the “leitmotif” of a tale pronounced by various voices, but in a clear and strong way, on the behalf of the absolute values of a human being. Tuning into another reality near Piazzale Roma, we arrive at Venezia Terminal Passeggeri, Isonzo 1 and 2, expression of modern travel architecture. Terminal Isonzo is a two-story building, divided in two parts, each of the areas counts a surface of 8,681 square meters where cruising travelers arrive and depart. In the high season 30000 people transit these spaces during one day. Designed for providing all passengers a smooth experience while embarking and disembarking, Isonzo 1 e 2 are also equipped with four monumental screens on wheels, ready to show art videos instead of publicity.
The three hours lasting video presentations “Hidden and Forbidden identities” with the participation of fourty artists from twenty five different countries were followed with interest by Venetian citizens and foreigners who made come up interesting discussions about the contents, the techniques and the actuality of the topic.
Thanks to the commitment of the artists Alaleh Alamir, Iran; Giacomo Arrigoni & Chiara Spagnoli, Italy; Sharlene Bamboat & Alexis Mitchell, Canada; Ursula Berlot, Slovenia; Derek Michael Besant, Canada; James A.Cook, USA; Fernando D’Agostino,USA; Giral Dominique, France; Jonas Englert, Germany; Francesca Fini, Italy; Lucia Flego, Italy; Marina Fomenko, Russia; Ger Ger, USA; Joseph Girandola, USA; Paul Handley, New Zealand; Mohamed Harb, Palestine; Wei Ming Ho, Taiwan; Niels Hoebers, Netherlands; Freya Holdsworth, Austria; Majlinda Kalmendi, Albania; Orhan Kerkezi & Adem Rusinovci, Kosovo; Satu Kiuru, Finland; Vitor Lago Silva, Portugal; Lenora Lee & Olivia Ting, USA; Chuan Ping Liu, China; Basir Mahmood, Germany; Andreas Mares, Austria; Penka Mincheva, Sweden; Rui Mourao, Portugal; NOK & T/ART Bannenberg & Snel, Netherlands; Diana Page, Turkey; Tommaso Pedone, Italy; Silvia Pereira, Germany; Nazia Andaleeb Preema, Bangladesh; Pasha Reshikov & Angelina Christina, USA; Albin Schutting, Austria; SPLITTERWERK, Austria; Gregory Steel, USA; Nino Strohecker, Austria; Antti Tanttu, Finland; Brigitta Thaysen, Germany; Edyta Turczanik, Poland; Panagiotis Voulgaris, Greece; Przemek Wegrzyn, Poland; the show has become an example of how young artists reflect about their origin, their nationality, their ethnic roots, their belief, their society, their individual and collective cultural affiliation.
Some videos may have disturbed the viewer emotionally for the crudeness of the images and the strong criticism of the false dogmas and ideologies inherent in political and class systems. Protest and social indignation, the power in its various forms, which is always a controlling influence on freedom of expression and on means of social communication, are very actual issues not only in other countries and continents, but also in nowadays Italy. Another range of videos may have
fascinated by their pureness and by the choreographic poetry, for the trust in a new civilization founded on beauty. To turn back the tide of indifference, we deserve these videos as a barrier against an increasing art made of death and despair. On this behalf I remember Jean Clair when he writes “God without Beauty is more incomprehensible than Beauty without God.”
Beside the video art show in the sites I have briefly described above, an outdoor show was on display in Campo Bandiera e Moro, Castello, the square in front of the Chiesa San Giovanni e Battista in Bragora. The project entitled “Architecture in Disguise” was dedicated to calligraphy, to a sequence of images projected on authentic architecture, in order to add a contemporary cultural layer to the building’s substance through the video. Six artists elaborated interdisciplinary issues: Françoise Morin, France, with the video “Un Rêve Cripté”, images of her paintings inspired on Japanese and Arabian letters; Irmfried Windbichler, Austria, with images of the original handwriting of a Sigmund Freud; Francesca Coniglio / Donato Gagliano, Italy, with their visuals “Wearing Time” that present fragments of hand written letters plunged into autumn colours; Vittoria Chierici, Italy, who recorded special meteor phenomena, similar to signs of lightning in the dark sky; DongFan, China, with poetic images of fairy tales, permeated by Chinese letters; Irina Tarkhanova Yacubson, Russia, whose constructivist architecture of Time veiled the brick stone facade of the Church with moving arithmetic progressions.” Elis Saint-Juste Gluckstein, 2012
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Contaminante – For the Upcoming Thought is the provoking title of a project, conceived and curated by the TheSeven, which represents a contemporary story in twelve chapters situated in twelve different sites in the City of Venice and in its Lagoons. The connection of all these places is a manual for an intriguing alternative travel into literature, into the world of fairy tales which get materialized through art, design and architecture. The updated map of Contaminante offers permanent site specific art works realized by international artists in ten sites throughout 2012.
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To download the complete press release with the photo reportage of the event please click here