GAMeC confirms and continues its participation in the Artists’ Film International, the prestigious video-art network that since 2008 has involved some of the most important international contemporary art institutions, along with artists from all around the world.
While museums and institutions must remain closed in compliance with the Government Regulations adopted to contrast the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the websites and social network pages of the over twenty partner organisations joining this initiative are hosting an online international exhibition presenting this year’s video works: a message of solidarity and international collaboration against a historical background imposing social distancing on us all.
For the twelfth edition of the event whose theme is “language”, curators Sara Fumagalli and Valentina Gervasoni selected a work by artist Francesco Pedraglio (Como, 1981).
Scripting anticlockwise (6 constellations) will be visible on the website for the duration of the review; on a weekly basis, the GAMeC site will host the video works proposed by the other participating institutions.
26 MAY – 2 JUNE 2020
My Pictures of You, 2017-19
HD video, 23′
Selected by Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
In the film My Pictures of You, Lisa Tan looks at photographs taken on Mars by NASA expeditions. These pictures are interwoven with filmed sequences from Earth, and Tan muses over the bewildering similarity of the topography on the two different celestial bodies. At the same time, she talks with a researcher who is responsible for the operations of measuring water, soil, and atmosphere on the Mars expeditions, and she lays out for him some poetic speculations about the two planets. Tan thinks of Mars as Earth’s death mask, imagining that we can see our own future in the desolate, dusty red planet.
The relationship between picture and language is a recurring theme in Tan’s work as an artist, and we see it here as well. In the film, she examines the images in relation to French philosopher Roland Barthes’s famed book on photography, Camera Lucida, which is based on a photograph of the author’s late mother when she was a child. Tan asks the researcher to read from the book, replacing the words “mother” and “she” in his mind with “Earth”, and in this way she unlocks the language and sets it in motion. Barthes wrote that a photograph does not necessarily show that which no longer exists, but merely something that has existed. This is right in line with Tan’s work, which is permeated with a tenderly loving and sometimes melancholy look at the Earth.
Born in 1973 in Syracuse, NY, USA, Lisa Tan lives in Stockholm where she is Professor of Fine Art at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. She works with video, photography, text, and installation. Tan is concerned with the ways in which images and language shape political consciousness, the formation of individual subjectivity, and desire. Aspects of her everyday life—such as love, experiences of otherness, loss—have all served as inspiration alongside her research into different fields of study such as theory of photography, literature, and affect.
Lisa Tan is currently included in osloBIENNALEN First Edition 2019-2024 and recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Kunsthall Trondheim (2017), and the group exhibitions: An Inventory of Shimmers, MIT List Center (2017), Show and Tell, Malmö Konstmuseum (2017), Why Not Ask Again?, 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016), Decent, ICA Philadelphia (2016), Surround Audience, Triennial exhibition at the New Museum (2015). Her work is included in the public collections of Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Malmö Konstmuseum, the City of Oslo’s public art collection, and Coleção Moraes-Barbosa, São Paulo.
Racconto antiorario (6 costellazioni) / Scripting anticlockwise (6 constellations), 2017
HD video, 10’04’’
Selected by GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo
Developed from a live performance, Scripting anticlockwise (6 constellations) (2017),is a film adopting an abstract narrative, imagining six possible constellations taking shape in that space created between the narrator, the actors, the props and the dark of the night.
At the centre of a dark space, the camera’s anticlockwise rotation around a column marks the rhythmic succession of a series of abstract images. Like lines connecting dots spread around a sheet of paper, trajectories, colours, shapes and volumes seem to materialise fragments of an unknown alphabet, a silent and symbolic language. Meanwhile, in what seems to be a divinatory process, a voice-over uses these very same fragments to propose starting points for futures stories.
He looks at how the process of narrating and staging – oneself, or a situation – influences the relationship between teller and listener, making visible the fantasies and fictions that constitute our reality.
For Pedraglio, language is a mechanism that organises the visible: it moulds reality because it defines it in each of its parts, so that the different sensory levels (visual and auditive) and conceptual dimensions related to theatre, cinema and narrative end up being indissolubly connected. Language names things – a man, a car, a spider monkey…–, subdividing the world in units endowed with an (ostensible) meaning – the constellations – and prepares reality to be captured by thought, the narration per se.
Filmic reality takes shape through words: a visual imagery created by the eloquent use of words and the construction of verses, but also via the development of a plot, that sequence of actions that the artist/director evokes to give a retinal form to images.
In language, the image of what surrounds us is a linguistic image, and this allows the artist-audience interaction; the video reminds us that language is a powerful tool mediating between us and the surrounding reality.
Francesco Pedraglio was born in Como (IT) in 1981. He lives in Mexico City. Pedraglio is interested in storytelling as a tool to decode intimate encounters with both mundane and historically complex situations. The starting point of Pedraglio’s practice, encompassing performance, sculpture, installations, prints, and film, is writing. A curious detail, an overheard rumour, a banal incident, anything could spark a narration. And it’s in the shift from written text to live action, from live action to staged installation or film that the exploration of language, fiction and reality-making occurs.
His work has been showcased at Norma Mangione Gallery (2019); Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2018); Museo Leonora Carrington, San Luis Potosí (2018); P///AKT, Amsterdam (2017); Kunstverein Munich (2017); CRAC Alsace (2017); Sheffield Fringe (2016); Parallel, Oaxaca (2015); The Physics Room, Christchurch (2015); Kunsthalle Wien (2015); ICA, London (2015). A collection of poems titled 99 Battle and 1 War (an extract) was published by Piano Nobile (CH) in October 2016. His first novel A man in a room spray painting a fly was published by Book Works in summer 2014. Together with artist Tania Pérez Córdova, Pedraglio runs the publishing project Juan de la Cosa / John of the Thing.
16 – 22 JUNE
The Cause of Death, 2015
Selected by Belgrade Cultural Centre, Belgrade
9 – 15 JUNE
A False Weight, 2019
Selected by Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø
3 – 8 JUNE
Mohamed A. Gawad
betalpha (Balbalah), 2018
Selected by Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Foundation, Amman
26 MAY – 2 JUNE
My Pictures of You, 2017-19
Selected by Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm
19 – 25 MAY
Raqs Media Collective
Passwords for Time Travel, 2017
Selected by Project 88, Mumbai
12 – 18 MAY
Wanda Wanton, 2016
Selected by Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
5 – 11 MAY 2020
Miguel Fernandez de Castro
Grammar of Gates / Gramática de las puertas, 2019
Selected by Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas
28 APRIL – 4 MAY 2020
Mobogo Dinku, 2019
Selected by Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
21 – 27 APRIL 2020
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain
Inscriptions (One Here Now), 2018
Selected by Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
14 – 20 APRIL 2020
Junkanoo Talk, 2017
Selected by Whitechapel Gallery, London
Other participating institutions: Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; Belgrade Cultural Centre, Belgrade; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; CAC, Vilnius; Centre for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan (CCAA), Kabul; Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; Fundacion PRÓA, Buenos Aires; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Hanoi DOCLAB, Hanoi; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul; Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town; KWM Art Centre, Beijing; Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Foundation, Amman; Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein kunst forum (n.b.k.), Berlin; Para Site, Hong Kong; Project 88, Mumbai; Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø; Whitechapel Gallery, London; The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.