On February 10th, 2016 AlbumArte inaugurated a screening series of film and video art titled AlbumArte | VideoArtForum, which after the first edition success among critics and audiences, became in 2017 an ongoing project, hosted mainly within AlbumArte exhibition spaces. VideoArtForum is an analysis and study opportunity on the theme of video art and artist films, carried out through projections, video exhibitions and public talks with artists, curators, and enthusiasts. The project affirms AlbumArte's interest in video art, an expressive medium with which it has worked since the beginning, continuing to intensify its investigation in this area as one of the main characteristics of its research path.In 2011, video art was, in fact, the protagonist of the first edition of the "Anteprima" project, an international program of artist residences, exhibitions, screening, conferences, and talks, between Italy and abroad, born from an idea of Cristina Cobianchi, President and Project Manager of AlbumArte. Some of the artists presented during the various editions of "Anteprima" returned to AlbumArte on the occasion of "VideoArtForum" project, including the Turkish artist Ferhat Özgür who had participated in the first edition of "Anteprima", held in Instabul.In the following years, AlbumArte continued its exchanges with the Turkish city, presenting at Casa d'Italia, part of the Italian Cultural Institute, videos and films of Italian and foreign artists. It also organised the première in Italy and in Turkey of Adrian Paci's video, "The Column" (2012). Both the artist and the curator of the project Gabi Scardi were present at the events and, together with others curators, AlbumArte invited them to give a talk, after the screening, in the days of the XIII Istanbul Biennale (2013). The video had been previously presented only at the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris.Finally, since 2015 AlbumArte includes art videos and films within the context of several exhibitions hosted in its space, such as the videos that made up the exhibition of Lucia Nimcová and Martin Kollar presented in the autumn of 2015 (“From Room to Roam ", curated by Lýdia Pribišová) in which Nimcová presented her project “Khroniky” (Ukraine, 2014) in collaboration with the sound artist SoltoDobie. Or exhibitions almost entirely dedicated to video art such as “Eglė Budvytytė | Between eyelashes and thoughts” curated by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini in 2017 or the collective PARADISO by Rosa Jijón, with a video by Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiz produced by Jeu de Pomme, in 2018 Kristina Inčiūraitė "Reflecting Women" curated by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini and in 2019 "What is happening with sleep today?" curated by Lýdia Pribišová. Among these videos, "Slides" by Martin Kohout, a work with which the Czech artist won the Jindřich Chalupecký award in 2017, the most prestigious award for young artists in Czech Republic.
Theme song of AlbumArte | VideoArtForum (2016) by Matteo PisapiaAlbumArte
AlbumArte | VideoArtForum 2016
The appointment with Francesco Jodice, introduced by Adriana Polveroni (April 12th, 2016) ended the first edition of VideoArtForum (February 10th – April 16th, 2016), directed by Cristina Cobianchi and curated by Ilaria Gianni, Cristiana Perrella, Adriana Polveroni, Paola Ugolini, and Vittorio Urbani.In this first edition, AlbumArte presented five artists in five different moments, giving them the opportunity to freely occupy the space, setting up a personal video art exhibition preceded by a projection, in the presence of the artist and the curator. The methodological decision of a free discussion held after the projection, as in the cineforum of the Seventies, aimed at creating a moment of in-depth analysis and dialogue that has continued to characterize the project also in the following editions.
VideoArtForum #5 | Francesco Jodice, short clip (2016) by Francesco Jodice and Adriana PolveroniAlbumArte
Hosting Francesco Jodice, an interesting and well-rounded artist, as a guest for the last date of VideoArtForum represented a special opportunity for analysis and discussion. In his artistic research he examines the changes occurring in the modern social landscape, underlining new relevant phenomena in urban anthropology. His work explores the urgency for a common ground between art and geopolitics.
VideoArtForum #5 | Francesco Jodice (2016) by Francesco Jodice and Adriana PolveroniAlbumArte
In his solo show, that was extended until April 16th, the artist presented a series of films and videos produced between 2004 and 2016, and the video “How Are You Tomorrow”, specifically realized for this project.
AlbumArte | VideoArtForum 2017
After the first edition, AlbumArte | VideoArtForum continues, mainly through projections and debates, often followed by a two-days show, and presenting only videos that were never presented before in Italy or in Rome. Moreover, it continues to favor the inclusion of video works in the exhibitions of Italian and international artists. Among the artists involved in 2017, Ferhat Özgür and Elena Bellantoni, who together with Silvano Manganaro and Cecilia Canziani presented "Maremoto" (May 18th, 2017), the Italian première of a work concerning immigration in Italy.
Elena Bellantoni | Maremoto, VideoArtForum 2017, short clip (2017) by Elena Bellantoni, Cecilia Canziani and Silvano ManganaroAlbumArte
“Maremoto” (Tsunami) is a performative work shot on the Sicilian coasts. At dawn, a woman tries to ride the waves while riding a bicycle, an impossible attempt to cross the Mediterranean using an improbable and unreliable vehicle. The woman is swept away by the force of the waves until she disappears. From the same point, a black man emerges, who traces back the path to finally arrive at the beach and continue his journey by bicycle. A circular work in which the elements of water, the sea, and crossing tell the story of Ibrhaima, a boy arrived in Lampedusa from Senegal. His voice accompanies the video in Pulaar language, his own dialect. The two characters are dressed the same way, as if they were the same person, the one needs the other: the experience of migration belongs to both. The actions are made up of two unique sequence shot to give shape to the real effort of crossing. There is no linguistic translation but through images and sound, the viewer can perceives the story of one of the many migrants landed on the Mediterranean coasts.
Ferhat Özgür | Conquest, VideoArtForum 2017 (2017) by Ferhat Özgür and Cristiana PerrellaAlbumArte
On May 23rd 2017, after his solo exhibition as part as AlbumArte | VideoArtForum (Rome, 2016) and his participation in the first edition of “Anteprima” (Istanbul, 2011), the Turkish artist Ferhat Özgür came back to collaborate together with AlbumArte to present the video “Conquest” in the second edition of VideoArtForum, together with Cristiana Perrella.
Ferhat Özgür | Conquest, VideoArtForum 2017 (2017) by Ferhat Özgür and Cristiana PerrellaAlbumArte
"Conquest" captures the excitement of the festival celebrated on May 29th, 2016 in Istanbul, on the occasion of the 563° anniversary of the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The anniversary was celebrated with a grand ceremony, which saw the participation of political offices and about 1 million spectators. The video focuses on the event and its participants with the intent to decode how historical facts are interpreted by power and how the public arena is shaped by the power itself, that ideologically directs the community. All the members of the Istanbul society are present, waving their flags uninterruptedly and impetuously participating in long and scenographic ceremonies. The work reveals how the Turkish country is characterized today by the lack of a strong idea of individuality and above all of objective and autonomous thought.
Ferhat Özgür | Conquest, VideoArtForum 2017, short clip (2017) by Ferhat Özgür and Cristiana PerrellaAlbumArte
In the video, the artist interchanges the official and redundant speech of a nationalistic orator with interviews to ordinary people, including an immigrant. This is done by means of a double screen that activates an alternative platform of images - similar and contrasting - allowing themes such as destruction and mysticism to be explored.
In 2019, AlbumArte presented a new edition of VideoArtForum. In the last of the five appointments of this new series of AlbumArte | VideoArtForum 2019, Marco Trulli presented “Mediterraneo Sensibile”, a selection of video works by the artists Luca Coclite, Khaled Jarrar, Randa Maddah, Youssef Ouchra and Anna Raimondo, followed by a public debate, with the participation of Saverio Verini.“Mediterraneo Sensibile” focuses on some art practices that characterize the Mediterranean public space, which in recent years has been the subject of a series of exhibitions, workshops and residencies curated by Marco Trulli within the project La ville ouverte and promoted by ARCI Nazionale in the context of the BJCEM network – Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean. Following the publication of the volume “La ville ouverte. Politiche e poetiche dello spazio pubblico mediterraneo” (Viaindustriae publishing, 2018) which summarizes the work of observation, research and production of the project, the event at AlbumArte featured a selection of videos by artists who are active in the Mediterranean territory, with a particular attention to works focused on the delicate interweaving of poetry and politics
VideoArtForum 2019 | Mediterrano sensibile (2019) by Marco Trulli and Saverio VeriniAlbumArte
«How do geopolitical processes re-design the landscape? And how do artists respond through strategies, interventions, counter-narratives, or re-significations of places and imaginaries? The work constitutes a geography of places and imaginaries that leads the artists to the core of the present time of the Mediterranean, with the aim of designing new landscapes of possibility and reflection, spaces liberated from post-colonial legacies, from the paranoia of control and from the confinement of people. The Mediterranean changes and reconstructs every day new potential scenarios of transformation, in which the artists re-define new opportunities for the creation of poetic conflicts, from the more intimate dimension to the public one». (Marco Trulli)
Chapter IV | Chasing Boundaries SHKODËR
In the edition of 2016 of AlbumArte|VideoArtForum, it was presented the project “Chasing Boundaries”, a series of documentaries on contemporary art directed by Zaelia Bishop and Emanuele Napolitano and coordinated by Micol Di Veroli. The project was developed with the intention to describe the condition of making art through a work that approaches video art and tends to go beyond the traditional narrative method of linear structure in favor of an open platform, discovering new ways of perceiving concepts and information. The goal of the project is also to collect different voices from distant lands, artists who operate under difficult or impossible conditions, managing to transform these experiences into artistic production. Each interview puts the viewer in the position to observe fragments of natural moments placed in sequence and produce a personal experience: it is not about watching an ideological portrait of the filmed subjects but simply being present and observing things as they unfold.
Chapter IV | Chasing Boundaries SHKODËR (2019) by Zaelia Bishop, Emanuele Napolitano, Adrian Paci and Paola UgoliniAlbumArte
For the fourth chapter of “Chasing Boundaries”, the curator Adrian Paci made available for the interviews his Art House, in Shkodër in Albania, a childhood home turned into a place of experimentation and a platform for local artists. The invited artists Driant Zeneli, Lek Gjeloshi, Donika Çina and Alket Frasheri gave back four heterogeneous creative visions that dealt with various social and creative aspects, such as illusion and failure, national identity and religion, fear and hope. The video presented at AlbumArte was followed by a public talk between Adrian Paci, Zaelia Bishop, Emanuele Napolitano and Paola Ugolini.
Chapter IV | Chasing Boundaries SHKODËR, short clip (2019) by Zaelia Bishop, Emanuele Napolitano, Adrian Paci and Paola UgoliniAlbumArte
Albania and contemporary art together suggests new ways of thinking and new landscapes, that provoke new opinions and ideas. The artists, as social commentators, make us more aware of the human condition. They reflect the historical moment and project into the community an awareness of the moment, they live and record every aspect of our world and above all, they change the way we see the world. Their researches can serve as a mean to collect memories as their role is to remind us to reflect on our reality and history, and even to draw conclusions on whether our reality needs to be changed.
Texts: Cristina Cobianchi, Alice Isabella Leone ed estratti curatoriali
Translation: Fabiola Fiocco, Carolina Gatti
Video: Matteo Pisapia
Coordination: Fabiola Fiocco, Alice Isabella Leone
Project management: Cristina Cobianchi
We would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts everyone who contributed to the making of this project and also everyone who shared their knowledge with us.