To access the live digital streaming, click HERE
Gender-based violence at the time of the pandemic
Mascarilla 19 – Codes of Domestic Violence
Castello di Rivoli will host a screening program produced by Fondazione In Between Art Film on 8 March on the occasion of International Women’s Day
Monday March 8, 2021, 4 – 6 pm
Live digital streaming from the Castello di Rivoli Theater
The Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea hosts Mascarilla 19 – Codes of Domestic Violence, a project curated by Leonardo Bigazzi, Alessandro Rabottini and Paola Ugolini, produced by Fondazione In Between Art Film.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Museum proposes a meeting on the theme of gender-based violence with the Director of the Castello di Rivoli, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the founder and President of Fondazione In Between Art Film and creator of Mascarilla 19 – Codes of Domestic Violence, Beatrice Bulgari, the Artistic Director of Fondazione In Between Art Film, Alessandro Rabottini, the curator Paola Ugolini and the artists Silvia Giambrone (Agrigento, 1981), Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, 1984), MASBEDO (Nicolò Massazza, Milan, 1973; Iacopo Bedogni, Sarzana, 1970) and Adrian Paci (Shkodër, Albania, 1969).
Closed to the public in compliance with the provisions for the containment of the spread of Covid-19, the meeting will be recorded and streamed online on Monday March 8 from 4 to 6 pm in the Museum Theater with participants on site. These films offer different perspectives on the drama of domestic violence in the unprecedented scenario of global isolation exacerbated by the pandemic: Domestication (2020) by Silvia Giambrone, Muse (2020) by Elena Mazzi, Vedo rosso (2020) by Adrian Paci, and Daily Routine (2020) by MASBEDO.
After the greeting and the introduction, Alessandro Rabottini will present Fondazione In Between Art Film project and the conversation in which the curator Paola Ugolini and the attending artists Silvia Giambrone and Elena Mazzi will take part, while MASBEDO and Adrian Paci will join remotely.
The other films commissioned as part of Mascarilla 19 – Codes of domestic violence are:
Espacios Seguros (2020) by Iván Argote (Bogota, 1983); Flowers blooming in our throats (2020) by Eva Giolo (Bruxelles, 1991); Sunsets, everyday (2020) by Basir Mahmood (Lahore, 1985); and Lacerate (2020) by Janis Rafa (Athens, 1984) are simultaneously broadcasted on the digital platform.
Fondazione In Between Art Film was set up in Rome with the mission of spreading the culture of the moving image and supporting artists, institutions, and international centers of research that explore the dialog between disciplines and the grey areas in film, video, art, performance and installation. Guided by its founder and president Beatrice Bulgari, Fondazione In Between Art Film contributes to the international artistic debate by taking a closer look at the nature, role, and potential of moving images in our time.
In collaboration with
SYNOPSES and ARTISTS’ BIOS
Video 2K, 15’ [excerpt 5’]
Courtesy the artist, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Galleria Marcolini, Richard Saltoun Gallery and Fondazione In Between Art Film
The work of Silvia Giambrone is explicitly political in nature, illustrating and denouncing the ways in which women are subjugated through cultural models regarding the body, through norms of behavior, and through the manipulation of our imaginations. Her work is a compelling device for reflecting on the domestication of violence and on the taboos surrounding this impulse; it examines how subjugation can employ a socially accepted language of love and affection, a language to which we are so accustomed that we can no longer recognize it as a form of oppression. In her video Domestication, Silvia Giambrone explores the conceptual model of the “Essay on the Education and Instruction of Children” written by Swiss theologian Johan Sulzer in 1748, which revolves around the idea that “education is nothing other than learning to obey.” This obedience is obtained through both physical and psychological coercion, in an approach to child-rearing that scholars now call “poisonous pedagogy.” This hurtful set of rules, which formed the backbone of children’s education for centuries, has had a series of cultural and behavioral repercussions that educators and psychotherapists consider responsible for the violence that permeates human relations even today. Two characters, a man and a woman, who have absorbed this paradigm of violence into their own relationship, move in an evocative, poetic way through a domestic setting. They are always shown alone in that shared environment, as if each were a projection or memory in the other person’s mind, but the objects they use serve as tangible signs of their actual presence. These everyday items, seen through the distorting lens of violence, are potentially dangerous and menacing: both witnesses and tools of a symbolic violence. The boundary between victim and abuser is so blurred that it becomes hard to say which is which; the whole video is pervaded by a tension that always seems on the point of erupting, having festered within the domestic space as well as in the psyche of the people who live there. The visual register is an alternation between obsessive, disturbing rhythms and moments that are almost dreamlike, despite the plausibility of the setting and characters.
Silvia Giambrone (Agrigento, 1981; lives and works in Rome and London)
She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome (2002- 2006). She has held residencies throughout Europe and USA and been awarded several prizes over the past five years. She has recently been awarded the VAF prize, the most important prize for young Italian artists. Giambrone, who both lives and works between Rome and London, works about both the physical and invisible evidences of the strong connection between violence and the ‘subjectification’ process. Some of her exhibitions include: Pandora’s Boxes, CCCB Museum, Madrid (2009); Eurasia, Mart Museum, Rovereto (2009); Moscow Biennale: Qui vive? (2010); Flyers, Oncena Biennal de la Havana (2012); Re-Generation, Museo Macro, Rome (2012); Mediterranea 16 (2013); Let it go, American Academy in Rome (2013); Critica in arte, MAR Museum, Ravenna (2014); Ciò che non siamo, ciò che non vogliamo, Museo MAG, Riva del Garda (2014); A terrible love of war, Kaunas Bienale, Lituania (2015); ‘Suite Rivolta’, Museu de Electricidade, Doclisboa’s Passages, Lisboa (2015); Every passion borders on the chaotic, Villa Croce Museum, Genoa (2016); W Women in Italian Design, Triennale Design Museum, Milan (2016); Archeologia domestica Vol. I, IIC, Köln (2016); Time is out of Joint, La Galleria Nazionale, Rome (2017); Corpo a corpo, La Galleria Nazionale, Rome (2017); Terra mediterranea: in action, NiMAC, Nicosia, Cyprus (2017); Il corpo è un indumento fragile, Museo Novecento, Florence (2018); Young Italians 1968 – 2018, Italian Institute of Culture, New York City (2018); SHE DEVIL Remix, Museo Pecci, Prato (2018); Vaf Prize, Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Vaf Foundation (2019); Wall-eyes. Looking at Italy and Africa, Keynes Art Mile, Johannesburg (2019); Wall-eyes. Looking at Italy and Africa, Cape Town (2019); Donne. Corpo e immagine tra simbolo e rivoluzione, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Rome (2019); La Correzione, Galleria Marcolini, Forlì (2019); VII Premio Fondazione VAF, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Germany (2019); Italia. I racconti (in)visibili, Styles Regional Gallery, Gyumri, Armenia (2019); Italia. I racconti (in)visibili, Centro Cultural Las Condes, Santiago del Cile (2019); Feminism in Italian contemporary art, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London (2019); Sovvertimenti, Museo Novecento, Florence (2019); Io dico io, La Galleria Nazionale, Rome (2020); Level 0, Museo del Novecento, Milan (2020). She works with Richard Saltoun Gallery in London, Stefania Miscetti Studio in Rome and with Galleria Marcolini in Forlì.
Daily Routine, 2020
Video 4K, 11’ [excerpt 5’]
Courtesy the artists and Fondazione In Between Art Film
MASBEDO is an artistic duo whose practice spans video, film, performance, and installation, all the way to collaborative projects in the field of theatre and opera. With a vocabulary of form that draws on the symbolic dimension of the moving image, these two artists probe the deeper sphere of human relationships, often exploring the themes of incommunicability and psychological distance. The protagonist of Daily Routine lives in a bare house of glass and concrete, where just a few minimalist furnishings punctuate an otherwise empty space. From dusk into the night, her solitude is interrupted only by a sequence of ordinary actions that seem to have become routine: checking the security cameras, smoking a cigarette, fixing dinner, and exercising on an elliptical bike. It soon becomes clear that the austere, see-through architecture is actually an instrument of control: everything is visible from outside, and a distant gaze seems to detect every movement taking place inside this structure of surveillance. The silence that weighs on this house is interrupted only by a few peremptory phone calls, which seem to be instructions that require no reply: a male voice checks that everything is locked up and expresses satisfaction with the flawless decor. Through a very spare use of action and narrative, MASBEDO turns the camera into an obsessive tool of male domination, depicting the frenzy of narcissism, the yen for control, and the expression of violence through the subtlest forms of objectification. In Daily Routine, partner abuse has no need to manifest itself through sudden, shocking acts: it is deeply entrenched in the relationship dynamics, seeps into the walls and glints off the vast windows, dwells in the silences and gives an infernal rhythm to physical exercise, pervading even the act of nourishment. And it is precisely through the mechanical aspect of that workout that this film reveals its subtlest and most chilling side, the bassline and constant beat of violence.
MASBEDO are Nicolò Massazza (Milan, 1973) and Iacopo Bedogni (Sarzana, 1970)
They live in Milan and work together since 1999, focusing on video art and installations. They express themselves through the language of video, in different forms such as performance, theater, installation, photography and recently cinema. In Italy they are recognized among the most important video artists and innovators in the field of contemporary art, thanks to their unique feature of re-union of different arts and the multiplicity of languages in a single chorus. Their works have been exhibited in museums, biennials and institutions around the world, including: 2019 – ICA Milan Institute for Contemporary Art, Palazzo Dugnani Milan; 2018 – MAMM Multimedia Art Museum Moscow, Manifesta12 Palermo, Kunstlaboratorium Vestfossen Oslo, Centre Pompidou/Forum des Images Paris, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin; 2017 – Marta Herford; 2016 – Reggia di Venaria Reale Torino, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, Nomas Foundation Roma, Blickle Foundation Stuttgart; 2015 – MART Rovereto, Changjiang Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Basel Film Hong Kong Arts Centre; 2014 – Fondazione Merz; 2013 – Leopold Museum Vienna, MAMBA Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires; 2012 – Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin; 2011 – Art Unlimited Basel, MAXXI Roma, OK Offenes Kulturhaus Linz, EMAF European Media Art Festival Osnabrück; 2010 – Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowsky Castle Warsaw, CAAM Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno Las Palmas, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts Taiwan; 2009 – Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid, 53. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte la Biennale di Venezia; 2007 – Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci Prato, Tel Aviv Museum of Art; 2006 – CCCB Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, DA2 Domus Artium 02 Salamanca, Hangar Bicocca Milan.
Video 4K, 13’ 30’’ [excerpt 5’]
Courtesy the artist, galleria Ex Elettrofonica and Fondazione In Between Art Film
The artistic vision of Elena Mazzi deals with the relationship of human beings to their environment. Taking a primarily anthropological approach, she explores and records the personal and collective identity of a given territory, highlighting different forms of interaction and transformation. In the video Muse, Elena Mazzi leads viewers into the nightmare of gender violence through the disorienting beauty of the Greek and Roman statues in the Antiquarium of Palazzo Grimani in Venice. The video begins by showing details of the interiors as if they were still inhabited, while a voiceover ushers us into the private world of the person who lived, or perhaps still lives, in those solitary rooms. The visual rhythm changes as the camera begins to show close-ups of the bodies and faces of these women and men from antiquity; bodies that have been restored, put back together, with breaks and mends in the marble; details of broken fingers; a series of legs and bodies; male and female statues seen in relation to each other from different angles, with rays of natural light cutting in between. These are statues that have been stolen from other places, in an era of brutal colonialism that clashes with the perfect aesthetic balance of their arrangement. They are bodies that speak to us of distant lands and times, of love, violence, of myth, pillage, death, and rebirth. The voiceover tells stories of rape, of abduction, of violent beings who transform themselves in order to capture their sexual prey: helpless, beautiful human beings, both male and female. The text has been constructed by selecting myths in which violence plays a pivotal role, putting them into a broader narrative that ties this mythological past to the present and highlights how certain behavioral dynamics are still the same today. This visually powerful narrative takes us into the violent world of myth, based on power and domination, where violence is directly employed by a wrathful, lustful god.
Elena Mazzi (Reggio Emilia, 1984)
Elena Mazzi studied at the University of Siena and the IUAV in Venice, after which she trained at the Royal Institute of Art (Konsthögskolan) in Stockholm. Starting from the examination of specific territories, in her works, she reinterprets the cultural and natural heritage of places, interweaving stories, facts and fantasies handed down by local communities, in order to suggest possible resolutions to the man-nature-culture conflict. Her somewhat anthropological working method favours a holistic approach aimed at repairing the rifts that occur in society. She begins the work with observation and proceeds by combining various areas of knowledge. Her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, including: Whitechapel Gallery in London, BOZAR in Brussels, Museo del Novecento in Florence, MAGA in Gallarate, GAMeC in Bergamo, MAMbo in Bologna, AlbumArte in Rome, Sonje Art Center in Seoul, Palazzo Ducale in Urbino, Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, the Golinelli Foundation in Bologna, the Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato, 16th Quadriennale in Rome, GAM in Turin, the 14th Istanbul Biennial, the 17th BJCEM Mediterranean Biennial, Fittja Pavilion during the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture, COP17 in Durban, the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, Brussels, Stockholm, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation in Venice. She has participated in various residency programs in Italy and abroad. She is the winner, among others, of the 7th edition of the Italian Council sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, the XVII Ermanno Casoli Prize, the STEP Beyond Prize, the OnBoard Prize, the VISIO Young Talent Acquisition Prize, the Eneganart Prize, the Illy scholarship for Unidee, Fondazione Pistoletto, nctm and art prize, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo prize, the Lerici Foundation prize.
Vedo rosso, 2020
Video, 11’ 38’’ [excerpt 5’]
Video and audio Daria Deflorian
Courtesy the artist, kaufmann repetto, Peter Kilchmann Gallery and Fondazione In Between Art Film
Since the late 1990s, Adrian Paci has developed an artistic practice that includes video, film, painting, photography, and installation. A central theme of his work is displacement, which Paci explores through depictions of global migration and poetic, metaphorical language that probes how images change and move between film and painting, the shifting nature of personal memory, and the relationships between history, reality, and the moving image. In Vedo rosso the images are barely there: the screen is filled with a pulsating red that, for just a few moments, is interrupted by the appearance of an eye. The almost paradoxical choice to address the drama of domestic violence through the negation of images suggests the “impossibility” of telling this story: the red is created by a finger blocking the cell phone camera, as if by mistake, a common problem when recording. It is as if the phone lens were unable to film the domestic realm and were constantly being thwarted, driven back into a claustrophobic place. The eyes that fleetingly appear come from video portraits of Syrian refugee women that Paci filmed in Beirut in 2018: once again, we are looking at a kind of movement—migration, in the interest of survival—that is being hindered, along with the chance for refugees to tell their own stories and help us move past mass media clichés. An original text written and performed by playwright and actress Daria Deflorian provides the narrative structure: the power of storytelling turns the absence of images into a dramatic space of listening that captures the audience, conveying the complexities and contradictions of abuse and the entangling nature of certain relationships. Vedo rosso is a polyphonic composition for color and voice; weaving together three threads of isolation, coercion, and negation, both spatial and internal, it examines limitations—physical, psychological, individual, and collective—and the longing to overcome them.
Adrian Paci (Shkoder, Albania, 1969)
Adrian Paci studied painting at the Academy of Art of Tirana. In 1997 he moved to Milan where he lives and works. Throughout his career he held numerous solo shows in various international institutions such as: National Gallery of Art, Tirana ( 2019), Krems Kunsthalle ( 2019), Museo Novecento, Florence ( 2017); MAC, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (2014); Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea – PAC, Milan (2014); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2013); National Gallery of Kosovo, Prishtina (2012); Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich (2010); Bloomberg Space, London (2010); The Center for Contemporary Art – CCA, Tel Aviv (2009); Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund (2007); MoMA PS1, New York (2006) and Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2005). Amongst the various group shows, Adrian Paci’s work has also been featured in the 14th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2014); in the 48th and the 51st edition of the International Art Exhibition – Triennale di Roma, where he won first prize (2008); in the Biennale de Lyon (2009); and in the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013). His works are in numerous public and private collections including Metropolitan Museum, New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, MAXXI, Rome, Fundació La Caixa, Barcelona, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, UBS Art Collection, London, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, New York Public Library, New York, Solomon Guggenheim Foundation, New York, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle. Adrian Paci teaches painting and visual art at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti NABA, Milan. He has been a teaching art classes at Accademia Carrara di Belle Arti, Bergamo, 2002-2006, IUAV, Venice, 2003-2015 and has been giving lectures and workshops in many Universities, Art Academies and Institutions in different countries.
Espacios Seguros, 2020
Video 2K, 19’ 55’’ [excerpt 5’]
Courtesy the artist, Galerie Perrotin, Galería Vermelho, Galería Albarrán Bourdais and Fondazione In Between Art Film
The practice of Iván Argote centers on exploring the complex systems that govern the relationships between individuals, and the ways in which history, social roles, and power shape the structures of cities and public space. His works rely on a wide range of media, including video, photography, sculpture, drawing, and installation. In Espacios Seguros (Safe Spaces), Argote conceptually links two cities to which he is personally tied: Bogotá, where he was born and raised, and Paris, where he trained as an artist and now lives. Two contexts that are very different from each other politically, economically and socially, but where the statistics and dynamics of violence against women are tragically similar. The artist films the inscriptions that have been posted around his neighborhood by Collages Feminicides, an anonymous collective of women artists; using short phrases and simple but immediately recognizable graphics, they highlight the pervasiveness of gender violence and femicide in France. The camera slowly zooms in on these collages, while in the background the life of the city proceeds at its usual pace, culpably indifferent to the tragedy they reveal. Argote thus shifts the sphere of dialogue from the private realm to the public one, forcing us to reflect on the normalization of violence and the paradoxical nature of a problem that seems hidden but is actually right in plain view. Over the collages, we hear the voice of Diana Rodriguez Franco, “Secretaria de la Mujer de Bogotá”: head of the city’s department of women’s affairs, charged with implementing public policies for preventing domestic violence and supporting victims. Interviewed by the artist, this official explains how the program Espacios Seguros was developed in response to the growing number of cases of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the text, images, and sound are in different languages, they form a shared grammar that emphasizes the gravity of the situation and the need to act immediately.
Iván Argote (Bogota, 1983; lives in Paris)
The works of Iván Argote explore the relationship between history, politics, and the construction of our own subjectivities. His films, sculptures, collages, and public space installations attempt to generate questions about how we relate to others, to the state, to heritage and tradition. His works are sometimes anti-establishment critiques; taking a tone that is compelling yet tender, they investigate the idea of bringing emotions to politics and politics to the emotions. Iván Argote’s solo exhibitions include: Juntos Together, ASU – Arizona State University Art Museum (Tempe, Arizona, 2019); Radical Tenderness, MALBA (Buenos Aires, 2018); Deep Affection, Perrotin (Paris, 2018); Somos Tiernos, Museo Universitario del Chopo (Mexico City, 2017); Somos, Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo, 2017); La Venganza del Amor, Perrotin (New York, 2017); Sírvete de mi, sírveme de ti, Proyecto Amil (Lima, 2016); Strengthlessness, Standard High Line (New York, 2016); An Idea of Progress, SPACE (London, 2016); Cómo lavar la losa coherentemente, NC Arte (Bogota, 2016); La puesta en marcha de un sistema, Galeria ADN (Barcelona, 2015); Reddish Blue, DT Project (Brussels, 2015); Let’s Write a History of Hopes, Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo, 2014); Strengthlessness, Galerie Perrotin (Paris, 2014); La Estrategia, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2013); and Sin heroísmos, por favor, CA2M (Madrid, 2012), among others. He has also participated in several numerous group exhibitions, biennials and film festivals such as: Desert X, (Coachella Valley, California, 2019); Poéticas de la emoción, Caixa Forum (Barcelona, 2019); The Street: Where the World Is Made, MAXXI (Rome, 2018); How to See [What Isn’t There], Burger Collection Hong Kong at the Langen Foundation (Neuss, 2018); Wonderland, The High Line (New York, 2018); Regreso al futuro, Casa Encendida (Madrid, 2018); Hybrid Topographies, Deutsche Bank Collection (New York, 2018); Bienal Sur (Buenos Aires – Bogotá, 2017); Continua Sphères Ensemble, Le Centquatre-Paris (Paris, 2017); Du Verbe à La Communication, Carré d’Art (Nîmes, 2017); A Decolonial Atlas, Vincent Price Art Museum (Monterey Park, California, 2017); Monumentos, anti-monumentos y nueva escultura pública, Museo de Arte de Zapopan (Zapopan, 2017); Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre (Kiev – Venice, 2017); Bread and Roses, Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw, 2016); Festival Hors Pistes, Centre Pompidou (Paris – Malaga, 2016); Ideologue, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (Salt Lake City, UT, 2016); Dear Betty: Run Fast, Bite Hard!, GaMEC (Bergamo, 2016); Intersections, Cisneros Fountanals Foundation (Miami, 2015); 5th Thessaloniki Biennale (Thessaloniki, 2015); Levitate, Museums Quartier (Vienna, 2015); L’éloge de l’heure, MUDAC (Lausanne, 2015); Buildering: Misbehaving the City, Blaffer Art Museum & CAC Contemporary Arts Center (Houston – Cincinnati, 2014); Colonia Apocrifa, MUSAC (Léon, 2014); The Part In The Story…, Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2014); Utopian Days – Freedom, Total Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul, 2014); All about these…, National Gallery of Arts (Tirana, 2014); Festival Hors Pistes, Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2014); Los irrespetuosos, Museo Carrilo Gil (Mexico City, 2013); 30th São Paulo Biennial (São Paulo, 2013); and Girarse, Joan Miró Fundation (Barcelona, 2012), among others.
Flowers blooming in our throats, 2020
16mm tranferred to digital support, 8’ 42” [excerpt 5’]
Courtesy the artist, Fondazione In Between Art Film and Elephy
Eva Giolo is a visual artist who uses documentary strategies to explore personal and family histories, through an intense gaze that is keenly attuned to women’s experiences. She often employs 16mm and found footage from home video archives and from her private life. Filmed in 16mm just after the lockdown caused by COVID-19, Flowers blooming in our throats is an intimate, poetic portrait of the fragile balances that govern everyday life in a domestic setting. The artist films a group of her female friends in their own homes, performing various small actions in accordance with her instructions. Giolo chooses to walk a shifting line where gestures remain symbolically ambiguous, expressing a kind of violence that is not immediately recognizable. Hands try to support or escape, but also to grip or strike, in a subtle interweaving of sounds and references that adds to the viewer’s sense of tension and unease. A dialogue of gestures made up of repeated visual sequences where time is marked by the spinning of a small toy top, as unstable and precarious as the balance of a relationship. The artist repeatedly uses a red filter on her lens, creating a conceptual device that relies on an element of abstraction to conceal and transfigure the image. The mechanical insertion of the filter over the lens thus becomes the simulation of a violent act, immediately changing the way we perceive and remember an action we have seen before. This coexistence of opposites can also be found in the title, which metaphorically suggests how the beauty of a natural phenomenon—and implicitly, love—can turn into a suffocating force.
Eva Giolo (Brussels, 1991)
Eva Giolo is an audio-visual artist. Her work in film shows a propensity to capture family stories—her own, or other people’s. Using documentary strategies, she paints portraits that open a window into unseen, usually private, inner worlds. Giolo obtained her MFA in Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Arts (KASK), Ghent and her BFA from the Media Arts Department at KASK and Kanazawa College of Art in Japan. She completed her music education at the Institute of Contemporary Music in London. Recent screenings and exhibitions include: Vordemberge-Gildewart Award, GEM (The Hague, 2020); Folding Figures, Brakke Grond (Amsterdam, 2019); VISIO: Moving Images After Post-Internet, Palazzo Strozzi (Florence, 2019); Arthaus Artist Residency, Arthaus Movie Theater (Havana, 2019); Cedric Willemen Award, Nona (Mechelen, 2019); Expanded Trails, FIDMarseille (Marseille, 2019); Failures of Cohabitation, M HKA (Antwerp, 2019); Antarctica: An Exhibition about Alienation, Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna, 2018); Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, 2018); Homeless Movies, Visite Film Festival, Het Bos (Antwerp, 2018); Memory Error, Imagine Science Film Festival (New York, 2017); On the Look Out, TAZ#17 (Ostend, 2017); Art Vidéo #2, Côté Court (Paris (2017); Deep Focus, International Film Festival Rotterdam (Rotterdam, 2017); Unfold II, Blaa Galleri (Copenhagen, 2016); Homeless Movies, Huis Van Alijn (Ghent, 2016); Hommage, BOZAR (Brussels, 2016); Notes on Cinema, Courtisane Film Festival (Ghent, 2016/2019); Mu, Ishibiki Gallery (Kanazawa, 2014); II część, In Out Film Festival (Gdansk, 2014). Giolo is a winner of the VAF Wildcard for experimental film (2016) and the Cedric Willemen Award (2019). She has been nominated for the VG Award (2020). She is a former post-grad art resident at HISK (2018-2020), and she has been a WIELS resident in the summer of 2020. She is a founding member of Elephy.
Sunsets, everyday, 2020
Video, 14’ 55’’ [excerpt 5’]
Courtesy the artist and Fondazione In Between Art Film
Basir Mahmood, who originally trained as a sculptor, uses video and photography to reflect on the mechanisms involved in the construction of cinematic language and to explore the aesthetic and political aspects of everyday life. Sunsets, everyday is the result of an investigation that the artist undertook of the process, both physical and cinematic, involved in creating images of domestic violence. During the lockdown, some victims courageously used social media to share photos of their faces, as a way of encouraging other women to report such crimes. The marks on their bodies were the only tangible proof of the blows and the pain they had suffered, and the artist took these as a point of departure for thinking about all the things that happen out of view. Mahmood commissioned a production team in Lahore to create and film, in his absence, a repeated scene of domestic violence, based on his instructions and some reference images. While the main crew was busy with this task, two camera operators were asked to constantly film the entire process and the elements of the set, down to the last detail. This method of working from a distance, which Mahmood often employs, invites a reflection on the artist’s role and authorship, turning him into a witness and observer of his own work. The process of staging violence is what generates the images on the screen, but the act itself is almost completely hidden from the viewer. We see only narrow closeups and small portions of women’s bodies. Rejecting spectacularization, the artist focuses instead on the cinematic process and the codes of its language. In this metacinema of violence, the characters are the technicians and crew members struggling with his exhausting demand that they repeat the scene for sixteen straight hours of shooting. The set itself is explored by the camera with a forensic gaze, and the objects that compose it are put on an equal footing with the people. Both are forced to witness to the violence enacted before them. The almost obsessive repetition of identical actions, like washing the floor, becomes a way of expressing the routine nature of violence. An act that is repeated with tragic continuity. Every day, as inevitable as the sunset.
Basir Mahmood (Lahore, Pakistan, 1985)
Basir Mahmood studied in Lahore at the Beaconhouse National University. Soon after, he received a year-long fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, for 2011. He was also later awarded a two-year research fellowship by the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, for 2016 and 2017. Mahmood engages with the situations around him by reflecting upon embedded social and historical terrains of the ordinary, as well as his personal milieu. Using video, film or photograph, Mahmood weaves various threads of thought, discovery, and insight into poetic sequences and various forms of narrative. Since 2011, his works have been widely shown in contexts that include: The Garden of Eden, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2012); III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (Moscow, 2012); The Broad Museum: Inaugural Exhibition, Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan, 2012); Asia Pacific Time of Others, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (Tokyo, 2015); Yinchuan Biennial (Yichuan, 2016); Abraaj Group Art Prize Show (Dubai, 2016); Contour Biennale 8 (Mechelen, 2017); Tableaux Vivants, Foundation Etrillard (Paris, 2017); 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (Berlin, 2018); Freedom of Movement, Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2018); and Innsbruck International (Innsbruck, 2020). Mahmood has received accolades from around the world for his work. Most recently he was shortlisted for Portugal’s prestigious, highly competitive Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize; an exhibition with works by the six finalists held at Galeria Municipal do Porto in June 2020. Works by Mahmood are in various private collections and have also been acquired by the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Centre National des Arts Plastiques in Paris.
Video 3.2K, 16’ 20’’ [excerpt 5’]
Courtesy the artist, Martin van Zomeren Gallery and Fondazione In Between Art Film
Janis Rafa primarily employs the language of cinema, in feature films, video essays, and video installations. Her works, which are often permeated by elements of magical realism, explore the symbolic potential of the relations between humans and other species, touching on universal themes such as mortality, coexistence, and environmental awareness. Lacerate blends elements of realism with a dreamlike, symbolic dimension, portraying the extreme decision of a woman who turns from victim into executioner. Inspired by the iconography of mythological and biblical paintings such as Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes, Rafa nonetheless chooses to show the moment after the act of revenge—or self-defense—when the dramatic climax is already over. In a series of mises-en-scène shot only in natural light, we see a domestic setting overrun by a pack of dogs that roam around restlessly, attacking objects and furniture. The interior of this home is a mental space, violated and lacerated like a body that has undergone violence. Fruit, game, and remnants of food are arranged like still lifes, with allegorical elements evoking the precariousness of life and the loss of innocence. It is a suspended, hostile ecosystem, where the brutality suffered by other species is transferred by osmosis to human beings. In the vision imagined by the artist, the hunting hounds and other dogs—which were perhaps owned by the couple and witnessed the abusive relationship over the years—have come back like ghosts from the past. Historically symbols of loyalty to their master, the dogs here rebel and become the woman’s guardians, supporting and protecting her in the process of liberation from her persecutor. It is thus the irrational, animalistic part of the unconscious that has been unleashed, allowing the woman to regain control over her life and save herself.
Janis Rafa (Athens, 1984; lives and works in Amsterdam and Athens)
She completed her education in Fine Art at the University of Leeds (2002-2012) with a doctorate in video art practice, and was a resident at the Rijksakademie (2013-2014). In 2019 she presented her first museum solo exhibition at Centraal Museum Utrecht. She recently completed her first feature film, Kala azar (2020), which had its world premiere in the Tiger Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, winning the AFK award for best Dutch (co)production. The film premiered in the US at New Directors/New Films at MoMA & Lincoln Center (New York), and was released in the Netherlands in August 2020. Rafa’s work has also been shown at Palazzo Medici Riccardi (2017), Centre d’art contemporain Chanot (2017), Kunsthalle Munster (2017), Museum Voorlinden (2017), EYE Film Institute (2016), Kunstfort Vijfhuizen (2016), Palazzo Strozzi (2015), State Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki (2011), and Manifesta 8 (2010), among other venues. Her moving image works have been screened at film festivals such as: IFF Rotterdam, Netherlands Film Festival, BFI London, Viennale IFF and Rencontres Internationales (2016, 2010). Her work is in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Centraal Museum, Utrecht.