2016. The time of Pamela Diamante


From May 5 to June 20, Pamela Diamante is on show at The Open Box in Milan, a nonprofit space created by Valentino Albini, Andrea Francolino, Gaspare Luigi Marcone and David Reimondo, with the exhibition project 2016. The production of Pamela Diamante is presented in a diversified way, based on the level of analysis from which the individual works are born: from video and photography to installation, the medium is chosen for a phenomenal research into reality, becoming a new semantic universe. The exhibition curated by Giulia Bortoluzzi and Maria Villa is the artist’s third solo after the ones in 2016, de sti no at the Rossmut Gallery in Rome and Off/On at the Las Artes Visual Center of the Provincial Department of Matanzas, Cuba.

2016 is the title of the project at The Open Box in Milan, and also of one of the works on display, a video mounted on a black screen, similar to those used for signposting at stations or at airports, in which unfurls the entire year 2016 condensed in 119 minutes. In the video, the time stops 326 times for three seconds, interrupting the frequency of the regular rhythms of the hours and the days. The fast running of time has therefore an essential role, and is defined as “metaphor of the superabundance of information that exceeds the human capacity to memorize them”. In everyday life, what is the role of the passing of time?
Through an abstraction man has created conventional parameters to measure time, but its value, understood as the moral dowry and the scanning speed with which it is consumed, acquires very subjective variables upon which our perception is based. I personally perceive the flow of time as in a continuous countdown. One day I stopped thinking that sunlight takes about 8 minutes to get to the ground, so it’s as if it belonged to the past, and it’s very strange to think that in the vital relationship that man has with light there is a time shift that nullifies the concept of present. For this, my time runs very fast and it is as if I perpetually feel late on something. Fortunately, however, there is electricity.

In the video, the flow of time is interrupted and the central counter is progressing to the occurrence of technological and environmental disasters such as earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, factory explosions, oil leaks, infrastructure collapses… all disasters cataloged and derived from the Databases of the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Belgium. Do you think that is possible to use misfortune, pain, and human terror caused by disasters as a timing unit tool?
Events, of any kind, help us to give meaning to the time. We tell dates of the past only in correlation with an event, while, in the eyes of the world, human feelings are consumed with the completion of the event itself. In 2016, in fact, the voltage point generated by the interruption of time is only 3 seconds, these seconds not only include the manifestation of the event, but also what it entails, its consequences, and then it resumes as if nothing had happened.

Both in video 2016 and in the three photographic images exposed (of a flood in Pakistan, the Amatrice earthquake and the Hurricane Matthew in Haiti) you reflect on how these events are transmitted today, both through word and with images, putting in crisis the very truth of the facts. How essential is to be able to accept, first, and to analyze the overcrowding of information to which we are submitted?
In fact, since the information has become a mere product, we are bombarded directly and indirectly, we can directly and consciously choose the medium and the times of exposure, but there is the whole most unconscious part, the “in-direct”, the information that we receive at the transit points such as stations, airports, shopping centers, where information is so synthesized as to be reduced to learning a title, or the streams of social networks and news gadgets on mobile devices or tablet, capable of generating a cognitive saturation for the continuous overabundance. In this scenario, it seems that the great global message is knowledge, we need to be informed of what is happening, but how much and what do we really know?

Which is your audience? Would you call your work an invitation to reflection? An invitation to not accept everything that goes through the media as absolute truth?
In the Post-Truth Time, I think that the real problem will be its consequences, not what we believe today, but what we will remember tomorrow. While technological progress and artificial intelligence have made us lazy, on the other hand, this overexposure and the spectacularization of information has made us more superficial for the information itself. Consequently, this has allowed subjects such as Paul Horner to earn $ 10,000 a month thanks to the fake-news spread with Paid To Click sites that feed on all social sharing. I think it would be a very anachronistic attitude to expose a moral judgment on this condition; it is part of our reality and each of us, passively or actively, has contributed to creating and making it possible. My work consists of a first analytic stage in which I formulate concepts and create aesthetic points; if the result is capable of inducing a reflection then it means that I will establish a relationship with the viewer; after all, one of the most beautiful theories of quantum mechanics is that everything depends on the role of the observer and is the observer that can affect what he observes.

Your work, almost to exorcise the possible negative emotions due to this awareness, evokes the thought that F. Nietzsche exposes in the “The Birth of Tragedy” (1871), for which the spectator, in front of the tragedy show of others feels relieved. Do you believe there could be a parallel between 2016 and the modern feeling that “this is just a show”?
I believe that disasters are particularly interesting for the strength with which they are manifested and, moreover, have the power to evoke the absolute evil, the apocalypse, a fear that always accompanies mankind as testifies the success of Hollywood-based apocalyptic films. In the relationship between subject/spectator and object/image there is the point of distance that paradoxically creates the attraction; whether real or simulated images, the subject activates a cathartic process that resolves through reassurance in the relationship with the screen, limiting the image, shield, and window on the world. This is the world’s show.

The Open Box, Milano
(curated by) Giulia Bortoluzzi and Maria Villa

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Pamela Diamante, 2016, The Open Box, Milano 2017. Ph Valentino Albini

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Pamela Diamante, 2016, The Open Box, Milano 2017. Ph Valentino Albini

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Pamela Diamante, 2016, The Open Box, Milano 2017. Ph Valentino Albini


Pamela Diamante, untitled, 2017, detail triptych.

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Pamela Diamante, 2016, The Open Box, Milano 2017. Ph Valentino Albini

Federica Boffo

Pamela Diamante, Via Farini In Residence, Milano 2017. Ph Federica Boffo 

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Magdalini Tiamkaris

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