Interview: Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

Alberto Riccardo MessaggiImage courtesy of Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

Interview: Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

Luca Curci‘s conversation with artist Alberto Riccardo Messaggi (alias Rick Deckard), during Hidden Rooms, Venice.

Rick Deckard is the alias for the Italian videographer Alberto Riccardo Messaggi. Video images been his passion since early stage, he studied at the Center for Professional Film&Tv techniques in Milan and ended up eventually at The New York Film Academy, Tribeca, New York, where he got his degree in Fine Arts & filming (among the teachers: Pablo Berger – Blancanieves). Since then he went looking for the most appropriate language to express his visions, experimenting with video, digital photography and writing (his first novel “Ira – La città nella boccia di vetro” was published in 2006).

Alberto Riccardo MessaggiImage courtesy of Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

Then video experimentation “Hit him on the road to Damascus”. His initiation with video art exhibitions is in 2012 when he exposed at ArtExpo Premio Terna04 with a video work about persistence of memory and life. He exposed the first of a series of video portraits at “Hidden Rooms – Identities . Cities . Memories”, held in Venice at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi, on November 19-21, 2014, and then at “Hybrid Identities”, international experimental video-art festival in Almeria (Spain) at MECA Mediterráneo Centro Artístico, on November 22, 2014. 

Alberto Riccardo MessaggiImage courtesy of Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

Luca Curci – Can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo? What do you think about the organization, can it represent an opportunity for artists?

Alberto Riccardo Messaggi – I sent my application for “Hidden Rooms” exhibition at the very last minute, because my project is still in progress and I was doubtful whether it could already be shown to a public. I eventually applied and… what a pleasant feeling walking through those rooms full of art in a Palace in Venice which exudes History…

Alberto Riccardo MessaggiImage courtesy of Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

Rooms whose walls breath, whisper and echo the will of many creative essences… like an oyster shell made not for preserving and concealing only, but for giving away… connecting… let the artworks fly… Can an artist ask for more than a supportive environment and an appropriate chance to exhibit his works? All this and more has been “Hidden Rooms” and I am grateful to It’s LIQUID and International ArtExpo for their enduring commitment.

Alberto Riccardo MessaggiImage courtesy of Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

A. R. M. – “Hidden Rooms – Identities . Cities . Memories”: a portrait is always a place. We are places, made of all the people we met; all the places we walked through; all the memories we collected; all the dust we step. Every face is primarily one’s identity. Our eyes are the connection; our lines and wrinkles are the streets, the rivers, the canals which trace the persistence of our souls in other’s memories. We are defined by our own face to the World, like Venice is defined by its own stilts, palaces and water canals. It would not exist aside from its surfaces. There lays the main reason why the first one of my series of video portraits should be exposed in Venice for its initiation.

Alberto Riccardo MessaggiImage courtesy of Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

A. R. M.  “Anime” (or “Places”, the title is not yet decided) is a series of portraits in video, which I am still working on. It will come out with seven portraits. Seven people. Seven souls… The choice of video medium is because it blurs time-based cinematography with the frozen moment of still photography. The video layering nature, with the startling clarity and precision of HD, infuses portraits with references found in painting, sculpture, photography and film. The final result on the HD monitor resembles a photograph, but on closer inspection reveals a wider breathing and lively presence which the moving image only can afford.

Alberto Riccardo MessaggiImage courtesy of Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

L. C. – What is art for you?

A. R. M. – Maria Zambrano says: “Art saves the individual from isolation by immersing him in solitude”… the solitude which touches on the ultimate questions of Life and the experience of one’s human finiteness. My requirement is to give form to something I feel. Quoting the sculptor Diamante Faraldo: “If these forms did not emerge, they would destroy me inside”. At first, there is a vision, some forms, sensations, blurred images. The whole endeavor is to bring them into focus and find a way of making them visible.

Alberto Riccardo MessaggiImage courtesy of Alberto Riccardo Messaggi

The inner vision must be expressed and if I have something to say, I have to find the most appropriate language to say it. That language is the artwork. Quoting Zambrano again: “Only the poet really dreams, if we could all do it, we would not need him. Poets dream clearly something, that for us is only an apprehension”. So, we can say that art is trying to give form to the magma inside ourselves. But art is also nourishment, because it’s like setting out on a journey, which inevitably we are altered by.

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