Follow us on Social Media

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici 



We The People (detail), (2011-2013) - Photo Nils Klinger

The solo exhibition of Danh Vo – Chung ga opla at Villa Medici from 11 January to 10 February 2013 – is the second in a series of exhibitions focusing on the theme of Academia curated by Alessandro Rabottini.

Born in 1975 in Saigon, Danh Vo has affirmed himself in only a few years as one of the most original voices in the International artistic panorama, thanks to the variety of idioms with which he treats the great themes of history - colonialism, economic and cultural imperialism, the relations between East and West and war - from a personal point of view.

His work combines autobiography with the narration of great events, thus disintegrating the great division between History and personal history, between the dimension of individual experience and the horizon of world events.  

At the age of four, Danh Vo and his family escaped from Vietnam to find refuge in Denmark, following the historical events involving his native country as well as his own family. War, the subdivision of ex-Indochina, the French conquest and conversion to Catholicism… these and other collective traumas are omnipresent in Danh Vo’s work: a constant fusion between past and present, violence and poetry, destruction and transformation.

We The People (detail), (2011-2013) - Photo Nils Klinger

In his installations of objets trouvés and manipulated objects, the artist develops a formal idiom with references to post-minimalist art and Arte Povera, ethnographic and archaeological museology, commercial display and theatrical space.

On the occasion of his exhibition at Villa Medici, Danh Vo will create a series of installations in collaboration with members of his family.  The intimacy of this situation contrasts with the monumentality of the context that plays host to the exhibition: a fusion of everyday life with the official character amplified by the title.  Chung ga opla, is the phonetic translation of the Vietnamese expression indicating « sunny side up» eggs (in French « œufs au plat »). It evokes the image of morning food-sharing as a ritual celebrating unity.

The exhibition at Villa Medici will mix existing works with new pieces expressly created for this unprecedented project conceived specifically for the French Academy in Rome.

The exhibition Danh Vo - Chung ga opla is part of a cycle of three personal exhibitions that constitute an extension of the Teatro delle Esposizioni #3, which took place at Villa Medici in June and October of 2012. This cycle investigates the concept of Academy as a symbolic space where the idea of the presumed neutrality of art is superimposed on the concept of National identity and within which the dimensions of history, tradition, politics and culture come together.

The three artists involved in the project - each with his personal idiom - investigate the History of Art conceived as an area crossed by multiple forces: political ideologies, economic events, dominant historical narrations repressed by collective consciousness.

The exhibition Danh Vo - Chung ga opla follows Patrizio Di Massimo’s project The Lustful Turk (23 November – 16 December) and anticipates the solo show of Victor Man planned for the end of June 2013.

Bowditch Alphabet, 2010 - Photo Nils Klinger

This cycle of exhibitions explores the concept of Accademia in its multiple meanings interlacing historical, aesthetical and political reflections. 

Indeed, in recent years the international artistic debate has concentrated on a series of themes related to the processes of education and transmission of knowledge, the survival of ideologies of the past in the world of today and the possibility that visual art can work as an area where progress and anachronism can melt together.  Thus the concept of Accademia becomes a prism in which it is possible to manifest the opportunities and contradictions of our times in relation to tradition.  The figure of the Academy can, therefore, be explored as a physical, cultural and metaphoric site where the transmission of specific artistic knowledge bears a more complex history, consisting of a world vision which evokes, more or less explicitly, the traumas of history and the repression of ideology.

Danh Vo (1975, Saigon, Vietnam.) who lives and works in Berlin and New York, has recently  won the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize (2012). Part of the award consists in a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York scheduled in March 2013. Also forthcoming in 2013: solo shows of the artist at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and at the Museion in Bolzano.  Solo exhibitions have also been dedicated to Danh Vo in prestigious institutes such as the Renaissance Society in Chicago, the National Gallery in Copenhagen, the Kunsthaus Bregenz (all in 2012); the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel (2011); the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel (2011); the Kunsthalle in Basel  (2009) and the  Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2008).

French Academy in Rome - Villa Medici
curated by Alessandro Rabottini
Opening 10 January 2013
h 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm 
Grandes Galeries
Viale Trinità dei Monti 1, Rome

Thursday, December 20, 2012

ENTROPIA di Angelo Cricchi & Simona Lianza

Galleria ROSSMUT- Roma 
ENTROPIA di Angelo Cricchi & Simona Lianza


Entropia è la drammatizzazione di una cosmologia psichica, un ciclo cosmico che parte dall’ordine per degenerare lentamente nel caos. Il caos che è seguito dall’annullamento, l’annullamento che rigenera un nuovo ciclo. All’interno del superbo e incompiuto centro polisportivo di Torvergata ideato da Calatrava, la linea di moda di John Malkovich è l’espressione stilistica che ci guida nella degenerazione entropica di un sistema chiuso. Un sistema - volta celeste, interpretato come un ventre di balena arcaico ed evocativo. Nel cosmo si alternano i cicli dei quattro soli generatori della vita dove l’uomo fa le veci del quinto sole perno delle rotazioni.  L’uomo al centro della cosmologia, protetto nel ventre della balena madre, cede alla presunzione di sentirsi fautore del suo destino e distinto dalla materia che lo circonda. Segna un proprio cammino guidato dal libero arbitrio e si esprime desiderando e compiacendosi, gioendo dell’avverarsi dei desideri che lo rendono compiuto come essere e lo posizionano nel cosmo. Ma i desideri stessi lo investono come una scia maligna, una trappola, la grande malia che getta il soggetto in confusione. Preda di movimenti convulsi scivola nel buco nero dell’astenia, il terzo sole si eclissa, l’Entropia è massima. Solo nello stato abulico in cui si trova, investito della luce estatica del quarto sole, l’essere porta a compimento il suo percorso trasformandosi nel quinto sole rigeneratore del ciclo.

Quinto sole – l’uomo, fine e rinascita del sé.
Primo quadro- luce bianca, primo sole: Lo spazio tetro e desolato abitato da un solo essere vivente dà inizio ad un ciclo, nel mentre l’entropia legata al sistema naturalmente cresce. Tutto parte dal primo quadro legato al primo sole, un   mondo-universo ordinato ove tutto è distinguibile e dove il soggetto domina il tempo che egli stesso scandisce.
Secondo quadro – l’arancione, secondo sole: l’Entropia del sistema è in aumento, lo spazio è entrato in collisione con una scia di meteore che si disintegrano al contatto con l’atmosfera, questo è segno che il soggetto sta desiderando. La sua volontà interna è fattore scatenante di  eventi cosmici e viceversa, tanto il cosmo agisce sotto volontà del soggetto quanto il soggetto è condizionato dall’azione cosmica; così tanto più il soggetto desidera tanto più il pianeta entra in collisione con le meteore. Il caos cresce, l’entropia sta raggiungendo il valore massimo.
Terzo quadro – implosione del terzo sole. Il desiderio ha inglobato la volontà del soggetto e con esso il sole che implode esaurendo il suo potenziale. lo spazio diventa indistinguibile, lo scambio termico da materia a materia si è concluso,  l’Entropia è massima, il sistema chiuso ha raggiunto lo stato di Morte Termica.
Quarto quadro – estasi nel quarto sole. Il quarto sole sorge ad investire il soggetto  di una luce che lo ingloba fino a dissolverlo. Solo dopo aver percorso passo dopo passo la scala dei desideri ed essersi annullato nella sua stessa volontà l’essere ritorna a vivere nell’estasi, sospeso in un cosmo di cui non è elemento assestante ma parte integrante di un continuo.

Galleria Rossmut
Via dei Vascellari 33, Rome, IT.
+39 06 580 378

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New faces of Italian cinema

Angelo Iannelli
With the 2012 film festivals just about wrapped up, we saw a big emphasis this year on newly emerging and independent filmmakers. This was most notable in the Venice Film Festival's Horizon's program, which gave these filmmakers an unprecedented amount of visibility as the program reached out to people all over the world via the internet. 

To mark this current trend, I recently caught up with two independent filmmakers in Rome: Angelo Iannelli and Vito Napolitano. Each filmmaker has experience on both sides of the camera. Their origins are based in the south of Italy but they are now living in Rome. Angelo Iannelli was born in Benevento in the region of Campania, while Vito Napolitano is from Lecce in Puglia. What I enjoyed the most about our conversation is the passion with which the two young filmmakers speak about cinema. They are so enthusiastic and about their craft, they reel you right into their dreams. The three of us recently met up at the Libreria del Cinema, a bookstore and cafe dedicated to everything cinema, located in Trastevere. I asked the two about the recent trends in Italy regarding independent cinema and how its filmmakers are faring in the current climate.

Vito Napolitano
How do you feel about the film industry in Italy right now? Do you like the movies that are being made? 
Angelo: I believe that Italy's cinema is undergoing a period of profound change. After several years in which it was difficult to shine the light on good independent directors, some brave distributors were able to support the work of directors like Calibrodi, Garrone and Sorrentino. Garrone represents a certain Italian style. His style could be called neo-realism especially with his 2002 film, The Embalmer. His recent success at Cannes for his latest film, Reality will, in my opinion, open the doors for more non-commercial filmmakers, but I think the best contemporary Italian cinema is still reserved for the more high profile directors like Bellocchio, who continue to make great films. We recently lost a great director, Giuseppe Bertolucci. He was a true visionary and an experimenter, being among the first in Italy to use digital technology in the film Probably Love. 
Vito: The Italian film industry is unfortunately the mirror of hard times in general throughout the country. Luckily, the quality always exists but films have a hard time in the distribution sector. Recently I spoke with the director Alessandro Piva after attending the screening of his latest great movie, Henry, which unfortunately did not find its way to distribution and will be sold only on DVD. This is an increasing problem that is affecting our industry. Fewer and fewer economic resources are concentrated on independent projects and producers often prefer to make safer choices when investing in projects for fear of box office failure. All of this for us insiders is very frustrating. 

What obstacles do independent filmmakers face these days?
Angelo: The biggest problem is that Italy is a country where there are millions of artists. It is one of the greatest cradles of art. The directors are very talented even in independent cinema, but unfortunately there is not room for everyone. The greatest difficulty is this: they make many films that are self-produced and self-financed but it is difficult to find distribution for them. So we work mainly on the national festival circuit. I think nowadays a director must find their own style, their own poetry. If he does not immediately, then it will be too late and there is a risk of being lost. You have to have a trademark that distinguishes your work from that of other directors. Be unique, not necessarily large in scope, but always unique. 
Vito: These problems really affect the world of independent film in Italy, which is in no way comparable to the organized and powerful industry of the independent American filmmaker. A few months ago I shot a role in an independent film called Hope, directed by Daniele Ciferri. We are all hoping that the film, after the post-production, will be able to find some outlet on the market. In this case it was the director who invested his own money for the project. Self-financing is often the only way for independent films to be made.

At the Rome Film Festival with Vito Napolitano
Has the new technology made it easier to make a film, from shooting to editing? 
Angelo: Undoubtedly. We are seeing a technological miracle. With a few hundred dollars you can make a movie, edit it and distribute it in the film festival circuit. The major innovation is the digital editing, which has been around for years but has recently contributed to a significant reduction in costs. The editing programs allow you to create a professional movie along with color correction and audio editing. The digital recording then gives the opportunity to have greater maneuverability and versatility while drastically reducing the total cost of making the film. Independent filmmakers owe a great deal to this new digital technology. 
Vito: I'm not very knowledgeable about the new technology since I've only been concentrating on acting, but I am sure that it has really helped the independent film industry because it makes filmmaking more accessible. The new technology reduces costs making it easier to invest in a project. 

Do the national networks like RAI and Mediaset support independent films? Do they buy them and show them on their networks? 
Angelo: I must say that this is a sore point. Unfortunately, there is little television distribution, dare I say almost nothing. Some digital channels transmit independent short films but it's really hard. The problem is to be found in the TV listings, which are more and more saturated with pure entertainment programs and averse to art. Perhaps the fault is less and less geared towards the entertainment industry and more the fault of the excessive passivity of the television viewer. 
Vito: The situation of the television choices in Italy on both RAI and Mediaset is a disaster. Often the power of these networks is in the hands of boards of directors or owners directly linked to political interests. There is little interest of giving visibility to independent cinema and its filmmakers. Needless to say, it's due in part to the lack of economic return that would result in the support of independent cinema. Think of advertising, for example. This makes it very complicated for the independent film world. 

What do you think can be done to improve the opportunities for independent filmmakers in Italy? 
Angelo: Well cinema is entertainment, but first of all it's art. Often the independent filmmaker is at an advantage because you do not have the pressure of the big studios and distributors, and perhaps even the public. An improvement that could be made is to increase the number of films shown the theaters. It's very simple: instead of giving 700 showings to a movie, just give 400 and the other 300 can be distributed to us young directors. Experimentation often leads to a general improvement. Then there is television. Each channel, for example, could devote two hours a day to an independent film, maybe not in prime time slots but it could still be done. We also need to get the older generations on board in supporting the new filmmakers. To change things, we must all unite in common goals. 
Vito: The sector of independent filmmaking as a whole needs to be better supported. As an artist, all you can do is remember that quality comes first in terms of writing a good script and making a professional, high quality film. Continue to always focus on the quality and dignity of your work, and in the long run, that is your strongest weapon. The film industry is very complicated, and this is even true in the older more respected establishments. Take Cinecitta' for example and the difficult financial times it's facing. If such a respected institution of cinema can go through such hardship, image what it's like for unknown filmmakers. I believe that we should institute sort of a "Marshall Plan" to help us revive the interest of the whole world in Italian cinema.. but then maybe this is just utopia. 

- Jeannine Guilyard

In Conversation with Director Cecilia Pignocchi

Filmmakers Arthur Couvat and  Cecilia Pignocchi It’s unusual for a first-time filmmaker to be recognized by a high-profile, international fi...