The return of Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio

The return of Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio

The past is the substance of which time is made. J.L. Borges L’Aleph

As Ulysses has taught us almost three thousand years ago, each return involves a painful crossing: the latest short film by Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio is a journey into the folds of repressed memories in order to find the prenatal condition in which their shared life began.

The twins, born in 1978, are producing short films and documentaries since twenty years old and they have been rewarded with important international awards and installed in prestigious galleries and museums. Their work has always focused on the creation of vibrant portraits in which non-professional actors bring into play their own personal experiences into stories that reveal broader collective realities, often focusing on the difficulties of a marginalized life or uprooted from the place of origin. The language of film creates a short circuit between explicit fiction and inner reality, making it increasingly blurred the boundary between the performed memory and its representation. The task of art is for the duo De Serio to grasp the subtle relationships between man and the surrounding community, inviting the viewer to enter the lives of others to find the profoundly human component that resets each social and cultural diversity.
After years of working on a tight schedule, culminating with the film Seven Acts of Mercy, the two brothers go through a period of crisis in which they cannot find the intense inspiration and the pressing need that underpin their creative ethics. They decide to tackle the problem by engaging in person in front of the camera as in previous works their actors had done, transforming the momentary disorientation in a new short film in which they are both protagonists and directors. The result is a return, a document film of a scientific experiment and a visceral performance, in which the two brothers undergoing a hypnotic session simultaneously find their roots tracing back the memories of childhood up to the time in which they shared the prenatal womb.

Guided by the hypnotist Giuseppe Regaldo, maieutical and director, Gianluca and Massimiliano arise opposite one another without protective barriers in a dialogue that becomes mirroring. The nude aesthetics of black and white images that tend to a zero degree of cinema and the juxtaposition of the two alternating faces fathomed by their fragility amplify the emotional transitions and create a sort of sounding board for the words that laboriously take form. The body retains the memory of past and therefore a tear, a sigh, a glance or a caress have the power to reactivate the physical sensation of an unexpected remembrance. Through a chain of small involuntary gestures and phrases that lap the unspeakable the twins rediscover and reveal them to be different and complementary, becoming aware of their mutual presence as in a coordinated dance. The deep introspection that moved the creative crisis on the floor of identity and unconscious for the De Serio has a cathartic effect, causing them to ascertain the mode of their artistic work through the somatization of its deeper reasons. To take ownership of their own personal history in a more conscious way brings to overcome the impasse and to artistic maturity, offering the viewer a new immersive movie to empathize with and into which project their own most secret instincts.

The work, lasting 25 minutes, was produced as part of the project Museum calls artist by AMACI -Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums – is curated by Ludovico Pratesi and Angela Tecce and will be visible until September 7 in the Hall video of the permanent collection of the Mambo in Bologna.


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