GAMeC continues its participation in the Artists’ Film International: the prestigious network dedicated to video art, created in 2008 at the initiative of the Whitechapel Gallery in London. The network includes some of the most important contemporary art institutions internationally—currently more than twenty—as well as artists from all over the world.
As usual, each institution was asked to nominate an artist from their country and to present their work through a video on the subject of the proposed theme, which for this edition––which sees a continuation of the hybrid format adopted last year, both online and in-person––is “climate.”
For Italy’s GAMeC, curators Sara Fumagalli and Valentina Gervasoni selected the Flatform collective artist and its work Quello che verrà è solo una promessa (That which is to come is just a promise) (2019), to be presented to the public from October 14, 2022 to January 8, 2023, in conjunction with the opening of the fall exhibition cycle, as well as been featured online during the first week of programming.
The promise referenced in the title of the short film is that triggered by the passage from the state of waiting to that of surprise, i.e. the possibility for situations of which only hints, glimmers or certain aspects currently appear to become realities. This is the case of the likely disappearance of Tuvalu—a microscopic state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—due to climate change. A promise that is actually a threat of helplessness, indecision and unrest.
The film is shot on Funafuti, an atoll in the Tuvalu archipelago where over the past few years as a result of warming seas, salt water has been rising from underground, surfacing through the porosity of soils and flooding them, thereby endangering the future of life on the island. In a long take, the state of drought and flooding alternate seamlessly, without interruption. The places and the actions of its inhabitants frame the two recurring situations of the island: the suspension given by the repeated state of transition from solid to liquid, from dry to flooded, and the uncertainty to be experienced while waiting for the next change, forcing man to reflect on his condition and to constantly question it, as the only chance of adapting to the world around him.
Alongside Quello che verrà è solo una promessa (That which is to come is just a promise), a selection of Flatform’s previous works will also be presented in the museum, which clearly explain its poetics, namely the desire to create realities with new temporal and spatial planes, continuously interrupting the normal processes which lead from cause to effect.
Elements of reality—such as water, varying weather conditions, and light—are included in an expanded vision that disrupts reality itself and presents it under new guises.
Starting with a static shot of an Italian hillside town, the short film Quantum (2015) unfolds along a double thread suspended between reality and fiction: the shot of the real thing is animated by means of light beams emitted from spotlights that are suddenly deployed, isolating and framing various portions of the scene itself. The sounds of nature, a town band and an instrumental version of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma constitute the sound corpus of the landscape, but sight and hearing are out of sync in terms of their reciprocal distances, and this contributes to a sense of expectation and disorientation in the viewer.
In Movimenti di un tempo impossibile(2011), in an unlikely succession, a single long take presents rain, wind, snow, and fog bearing down on different portions of an abandoned rockery. The four musical instruments performing the first movement of Maurice Ravel’s Quartet in F major each become an audio track corresponding to each individual weather agent: the sound of the first violin drips like rain; the second violin is muffled like snow, the sound of the viola moves like the wind, while that of the cello reverberates like fog.
The causes of change are visible in this work. The time of metamorphosis is concentrated or accelerated by the simultaneity of its causes. Just as in music, here it is the different weather agents that are presented individually and then come together in a peculiar meteorological chorus.
Furthermore, from October 24, the GAMeC website will also host a selection of films offered by the other institutions taking part in the event, including: Whitechapel Gallery, London; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin; Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; The Bag Factory, Johannesburg; Project 88, Mumbai; and CAC, Vilnius.
This week features the film No Shelter From the Storm (2015) by Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, selected by Video-Forum, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.).
Flatform is a collective artist based in Milan and Berlin, founded in Milan in 2006. Works by Flatform have been shown in many museums and institutions, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, MAXXI Museum in Rome, EMPAC Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy NY, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Argos Centre for the Arts in Brussels, Palazzo Grassi in Venice, MSU–Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Cineteca Matadero in Madrid, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, Museu da Imagem e do Som in San Paolo, and the PAC in Milan, among others.
Flatform has been invited to several film festivals including the Quinzaine des Realisateurs de Cannes, Venice Intl. Film Festival, IFFR in Rotterdam, BFI Film Festival in London, LOOP in Barcelona, Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal, Lo Schermo dell’Arte in Florence, and the IFF in Melbourne. Selected awards include: Go Shorts, Nijmegen (2016 and 2020); Nashville Film Festival (2016), Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival (2015), Lago Film Festival (2010), 25FPS, Zagreb (2009), Screen Festival, Oslo (2008).
Calendar in updating
Quello che verrà è solo una promessa (That which is to come is just a promise), 2019
Video digitale, 2K, 22’
Selezionato da GAMeC
Wandering, Wandering with a Sun on my Back, 2018
HD, CGI film, 16’19’’
Selezionato da Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
October 31 – November 6
Cloud Migration, 2021
Animazione digitale, 4’19’’
Selezionato da The Bag Factory, Johannesburg
Ewelina Jarosz e Justyna Górowska
Cyber Wedding to the Brine Shrimp, 2018
Selezionato da Museum of Modern Art, Varsavia
Prantik Narayan Basu
Rang Mahal/Palace of Colours, 2019
Selezionato da Project 88, Mumbai
Anca Benera e Arnold Estefan
No Shelter from the Storm, 2015
Video HD, 5’42’’
Selezionato da Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k), Berlino
November 28 – December 4
High Definition video single channel film, sound, 17’52”
Selected by Whitechapel Gallery, London
Aphotic Zone, 2022
Selected by CAC, Vilnius
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