It is usually thought that mentioning the presence of works of art in cinema and filmic images in the visual arts is enough to define the formless category of “art films” or of art that refers to cinema.
If this were true, then we should be able to indicate precisely where to put masterpieces such as Le Mystere Picasso by HG Clouzot (1956) or Drawing Restraint by Matthew Barney (2005), or all the new video-installations present at the last Biennale of Moving Images that mix video art, cinema, performance, installation, sculpture, music and dance.
In fact, reality is often more subtle than we imagine, and when it seems to us that an artist dedicates himself to the cinema or that a director crosses the screen, we are almost always dealing with stateless cultural artifacts, which force us to rethink under another light the whole system of the arts and the sense of value that runs through them.
The Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement (BIM) is a privileged occasion for this rethinking. Founded in Geneva in 1985, today BIM is one of the most successful events in Europe for the presentation of video installations, artist films and multimedia works, as well as one of the most important platforms for research and production of video art in global level.
The works of all the selected artists are in fact commissioned and produced by the institution, in a vision that, projecting itself towards the desire to support the new generations of artists, distinguishes BIM from the usual format of the international biennials.
This year’s edition, entitled The Sound of Screens Imploding, owes its name to the search for an exhibition display capable of going beyond the screen as a television derived device and, at the same time, able to overcome a type of use traditionally associated with cinema and the cinema circuit. It is no coincidence that the two curators, Andrea Bellini and Andrea Lissoni, have decided not only to open the exhibition in the Italian exhibition space that par excellence, both in its history and in architecture, preserves the traces of the movement, the former train factory today OGR Turin, but also to present it in a scenographic setting that clearly refers to the world of sculpture and installation.
The work that emerges from this point of view is that of Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic: the video installation makes this physical relationship with the environment palpable both because the viewer must move in an almost totally dark room – the video is not projected on one side of a screen but on the two opposite sides of a wall, around which we can turn as if it were a sculpture – and because the slow motion of a dancing performer transforms images into a continuous and mellow flow, in which the The autobiographical exploration of the two artists’ roots is mixed with questions about technology, the human body and the relationships of mutual dependence between them. To complete the work there is an acrid smell of vegetation, which generates an experience that is both sensorial and spiritual.
In general, thanks also to the curators’ choice not to establish a predetermined theme that the artists should follow, the exhibition contains many different stories; stories that run in parallel until they reach their mutual denial: the possibility that the museum is a place of resistance, where culture is the only mode of survival; the risk and danger to which the condition of educated people is subjected; the end of a natural condition seen as ontologically positive; the need for narratives to be able to find a shared value of art and recognize oneself as a group.
Biennale dell’Immagine In Movimento
curated by Andrea Bellini & Andrea Lissoni
21June – 29 September 2019
Artists: Andreas Angelidakis, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic, Meriem Bennani, Ian Cheng, Elysia Crampton,Tamara Henderson, Kahlil Joseph
OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni
Corso Castelfidardo, 22, 10138 Torino
Mariem Bennani, Party on the CAPS, 2018
Kahlil Joseph, Wildcat (Aunt Janet), 2016
Korakrit Arunanondchai & Alex Gvojic, No history in a room filled with people with funny names 5, 2018
Graduated in Visual Arts at the IUAV University of Venice, she attended design and photography classes at the Beaux Arts in Paris. She currently lives in Milan, where she studies painting and she is enrolled in the Master of Management of Exhibition Events at 24Ore Business School in collaboration with Pinacoteca di Brera.