Saturday, June 12, 2010

MILANO: Rotonda di Via Besana - YOU-WE + ABLO

MILANO VIDEO ART: Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO. In the fantastic public venue of the Rotonda di Via Besana the Milan Council Responsible for Culture presents the exhibition, You-We + Ablo. 25 Videos from the Collection of Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, curated by Francesco Bonami, until July 8th. Fifteen large video installations make up a nomadic, political and cultural exhibition route, almost comparable to an imaginary world tour of the social transformation of reality.   The featured artists come from different parts of the world and the project highlights how, following the global phase, an era of neo-diversity is approaching, in which the once seen obstacles that arose from the differences between diverse cultures are fast being turned into new resources.  Also, ten young Italian artists have been invited to create videos on one subject. The artists have each filmed a three-minute video whose main character is Abdullay Kadal Traore, Ablo, as he likes to be called.

Above: Catherine Sullivan - Ice Floes of Franz Joseph Land, 2003.  The video draws from a tragic event of recent past, the attack of a Chechen suicide commando at Moscow’s Dubroka Theater in October 2002.  On that occasion seven hundred people, including spectators and actors, were kidnapped.  With a blood raid, the Russian special police forces killed the Chechen terrorists and most hostages.  In the video installation, Sullivan stages sections from Nord Ost musical, which was running on the evening of the attack.

The Official portrait.   Milan’s local minister for culture, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory explains “It is evident that in times like ours where we find ourselves living in a multiethnic city, contemporary art offers us a creative space for this cohabitation. It is for this reason that we must re-integrate You in the plural sense, that of others, into We, meaning all of us.  “This exhibition,” states Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, president of the Turin based Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, “is a concrete result of the synergy between a public body and a private non-profit institution; additionally, it offers further confirmation of the ability to build a system between the two and to create a great cultural pole between the cities of Milan and Turin.”  The curator of the exhibition, Francesco Bonami adds “ You-We aims to update the public regarding the role that video art has adopted in recent years, through a collection that is ever-developing.” 

Marine Hugonnier – Ariana, 2003. The Pandjsher valley in Afghanistan was not invaded neither by Communism nor by Fundamentalism and is the symbol of independence and resistance.  Ariana documents the artist’s trip with her crew as they head for this pure, uncontaminated place, to find out how the landscape determined its history.  Access to the area, however, is denied by the Afghan authorities due to strategic value the place acquired. Being able to shoot or film this panorama would be almost equivalent to controlling it.

Bani Abidi – The News, 2000.  In The News two charming female journalists played by the artist herself, report the same event on two different channels, one Indian and the other Pakistani, and they both tell a well- known joke about historical conflict between India and Pakistan.  Despite its documentary purpose, the work plays on the dichotomy between reality and fiction.   The work’s subject is a real, burning issue, yet the correspondent is not a real journalist, but an artist who aims at involving and informing people about a thorny question.

Fiona Tan – Saint Sebastian, 2002. 
Saint Sebastian is a recto-verso projection that shows the traditional Toshiya ceremony.  Each year, for 400 years, this ceremony has brought 20 year old girls from all over Japan to Kyoto, to perform the rite of archery, which marks the passage from adolescence to adulthood.  In a series of close-ups, the film shows the girls’ profiles while they pull the bowstring close to their faces immediately before darting the arrow.

Dafne Boggeri, Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, Riccardo Giacconi, Sabina Grasso, Antonio Guiotto, Domenico Mangano, Patrizia Monzani Maria Domenica Rapicavoli, Patrizio Di Massimo, Diego Marcon – ABLO, 2010.  Ten young Italian artists were invited to shoot a “subject” video.  Each artist realized a three-minute video portrait whose protagonist is Abdoul Kader Traore. Ablo as he likes to be called, is a griot musician from Burkina Faso who has been living in Milan for seven years and playing in several bands such as the Milanese and multiethnic “Orchestra di via Padova”. The ten videos are displayed and projected all together, thus forming a unique work as a sort of cultural and visual kaleidoscope, in which the same person is seen from different points of view and with different sensibilities.

One of the ten artists of the Ablo video project.  Antonio Guiotto.

One of the ten artists of the Ablo video project.    Patrizia Monzani.

Lina Bertucci – Vandana, 2004.   In the video Vandana we see a woman who is completely alone in an austere, apparently hostile place. The woman undergoes a personal metamorphosis, cutting her hair with a pair of long scissors.  The violent gesture, reiterated obsessively at an increasing faster pace, reflects the woman’s restlessness, she seems to be afflicted by a deep, inner pain, which can only be eased by dispensing of her long black hair.

Seen at the Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO exhibition. Nina Yashar and Margherita Sigillo'.

Seen at the Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO exhibition.  Orio Vergani.

Seen at the Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO exhibition. Pas Leccese and Cosima Parodi.

Seen at the Rotonda di Via Besana – YOU-WE + ABLO exhibition.   Paola Manfrin, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Cesare Cunaccia and Martina Mondadori.
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