GAMeC’s participation continues in Artists’ Film International: the network dedicated to video art, founded in 2008 in the wake of an initiative of the Whitechapel Gallery in London, involving various leading international contemporary art institutions as well as artists from all over the world.

As usual, each institution has been invited to put forward an artist from their own country and present their work through a video on the proposed theme, which for this edition—a continuation of the hybrid format adopted in recent years, both online and in-presence—is “The Diaspora.”

For the GAMeC, curators Sara Fumagalli and Valentina Gervasoni have selected Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini with the work Alphabet. The space between us and the unknown (2021).

The film draws on a reflection on the legacy of the Cold War on Asian diasporic communities in the West, while at the same time questioning the artists’ personal relationship with the Vietnamese community in Berlin, made up of two groups of people who came from one divided country to another, and thus particularly symbolic of this legacy.

Pondering the delicate boundary between appropriation and cultural recognition, Ottonella and Nicola set out to problematize their own position as Italian adoptive parents with a son and daughter born in Vietnam. They also explore the intersection of belonging, kinship, history, memory, and identity politics, as well as the intertwining between themselves, their children, and the shifts in memory that characterize the city where they live.

The film also documents a performance in the urban space that explores social structures through the lens of their own family experience. Traveling in a small boat, Ottonella, Nicola and their children spend an intimate day in the public space, navigating Berlin’s city traffic in search of an imaginary place where the lives of those divided by history might ideally meet.

The Berlin Wall thus takes on the symbolic value of a meeting place, and retracing its path by navigating it becomes an act of poetic reparation.

Alphabet. The space between us and the unknown is also thought of as a letter to the biological mothers of Rosa and Tito. The desire to find a shared language takes the form of a two-fold alphabet, which provides additional rhythm to the narrative.

Simultaneously, the museum rooms will host screenings of videos proposed by the other institutions participating in the 15th edition:

Jesse Chun / Ballroom Marfa, Marfa
Dejan Kaludjerović / Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Belgrade
Michelle Deignan / Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
Liv Schulman / Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires
Sashko Protyah / Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
Adnan Softić and Nina Softić / Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin
Mochu / Project 88, Mumbai
Damir Avdagić / Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø
R.I.P. Germain / Whitechapel Gallery, London

Biographical Notes

Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini, born in Milan in 1966 and 1962, live in Berlin. In 2002 they were in residence at PS1, New York. Their work has been shown in galleries and museums amongst which the Torino, Brescia, Valencia, Tel Aviv and Tirana Biennials; Manifesta 12 Palermo; Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava; MUAR, Moscow; PS1, New York; Atelier D’Artistes, Marseille; SMART, Amsterdam, Kunst Haus, Dresden; Participant Ink New York; White Columns New York; American University Museum Washington DC; FFFrankfurt; Fondazione la Marrana Monte Marcello; MA*GA Gallarate, Villa Romana, Firenze; CCC Strozzina; Firenze; GAM, Bologna; GAM, Torino; MART, Trento e Rovereto; PAC, Milano; PAN, Napoli; Galleria Civica, Trento; MAMBo, Bologna; Fondazione Merz, Torino; Triennale, Milano; Fondazione del Monte Bologna.
In 2020 they won the 8th edition of Italian Council.
They are represented by Galleria Lia Rumma, Milano.