The exhibition “Lavoro in movimento. Lo sguardo della videocamera sul comportamento sociale ed economico”, curated by Urs Sthael, moves the prospect of MAST from photography to video, and makes us experience the many facets of the work that can be that of a rich business man or of the unfortunates who seek in the dumps a minimum of sustenance.
With multi-screen rather than sequences, with static images rather than with an obsessive movement, the artists involved have done extensive researches on all kinds of situations. And so we have Jja, 2012, 50′ by Gaëlle Boucand which submits to a psychoanalytic session in his luxurious villa an elderly businessman who fled to Switzerland with a past of power and money. Thus we discover the reasons for his economic success, of his self-exile and the dynamics of conflicts with the rest of the world. Shocking is the work Permanent Error, 2010 by Pieter Hugo. We are in the dump of technological waste in Agbogbloshie, capital of Ghana, on the outskirts of Accra, one of the most polluted places in the world. Here is where end up millions of tons of old PC, TV, mobile phones from Europe. Thousands of Ghanaians extract from these devices copper, brass, aluminum and zinc thus earning a living but also polluting air, water, land, people and animals. Or there is Da Vinci, 2012, 25′ by Yuri Acancarni, thanks to robotic surgery it is possible to make an entire operation commanding the arms of a robot with a joystick. We witness a transaction in which the patient’s body is never touched directly by the hands of the physician, but only by the robot, called Da Vinci. The ecstatic vision of Empty, 2006, 8′ by Willie Doherty is that of a facade of an abandoned building used to house offices. We see the passage of time on the outside walls, through weather changes that accompany the transition from darkness to light and from rain to sun. With Factory 2003 31′ 9” by Chen Chien-Jen we are in Taiwan, big industrial center of cheap labor, in a former textile factory in which we witness the meeting of the workers who play the ancient work and therefore their strong personal relationships. The video installation by Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki Labour in a Single Shot, 2011 shows simultaneously a series of works, shoemakers, cooks, waiters, window cleaners, nurses, tattooists or scavengers, filmed with the most varied techniques. Obsessive is the rhythm of O.K., 2010, loop by Ali Kazma, on seven monitors, with a young employee who affixes frantically a stamp on a stack of sheets of paper. And the surveys by Eva Leitolf on the relationship between the city of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen automaker and those by Gabriela Löffelsul on water issues with a simulated debate, and those of An Nuis with Oil & Paradise and Trips to Azerbaijan, 2013, 30′ on the economic boom in Azerbaijan due to the longest pipeline in the world that has created many new rich and the many poor ordinary citizens. Julika Rudelius with Rites of Passage, 2008, 14′ analyzes the subtle interplay of power and dependence, dominance and submission that develops between influential political figures and interns at the beginning of a career in government circles. As well as also Thomas Vroege with So Help Me God, 2014, 23′ explores the world of finance, on the scandal of toxic assets in 2007, on a financial traders and bankers with no identity. And Yuri Ancarani in Piattaforma Luna (2011) follows the work of researchers in the abyss at the edge of their underwater capsule on the oceans living for three days in a hyperbaric chamber under high pressure along with the divers. While in Il capo, the head of the marble quarries of Carrara is the protagonist who gives orders for the precision of work on immense blocks of marble. And yet in the work of Ali Kazma the manual labor at the workshops Alessi (Household Goods Factory, 2008), and the hyper-production of cars in an Audi factory (Automobile Factory, 2012). In the other video of Julika Rudelius Rituals (2012) is highlighted the stark contrast between the seductive attitude of Chinese children in a cloth market based on advertising and the context, the chaotic city traffic. However, no different from that of many young Westerners.
MAST. GALLERY, BOLOGNA, January 25 – April 17 2017
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