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Six Women

2nd Installment:
Willow Gray, Reverie and Evelin Stermitz

curated by Carla Della Beffa

My main objective in curating this review and choosing the artists was, and is, to show the similarities and differences in the artistic approaches and methods of several video artists whose work I've been following for some time. Many themes are similar, because life is basically similar for all. But I'd like you to appreciate the diversity of women's video and art: all the artists I'm introducing work in other media too, and I invite you to discover their works and websites.

I chose three Italians and three international (USA, Slovenia/Austria) artists. I'm introducing them as I see them and their work, talking as a fellow woman and artist (sometimes curator). Together, they represent several facets of the complexity we live in: that's why I write what I see in each one of them instead of telling something more generic about all: not as a theorist, but as an artist introducing fellow artists, fellow women.

Alessandra Arnò is a media language theorist and practitioner. She tends towards technology and the no-copyright movement, editing and layering and writing free-use files found on internet libraries, instead of filming and declaring her authorship. Among the group, she is the most programming-oriented and the one more open to chance and randomness. Most of us prefer to be in control: in that, she's much more of a revolutionary and an extremist. Alessandra also promotes video-art through and other similar activities.

Rita Casdia models (and sometimes draws) sexy little people and animates them, building small, complex film sets for them, which she lights as actual TV productions. I like the humor in her videos, which are often rather sexually explicit and can be a bit cruel, but then life often is, especially to women. Her stories are symbolic, psychological, archetypal: every woman can identify, once she accepts that to have a body and passions and to be a "bad girl" could be good, nothing to be ashamed of.

Grace Graupe Pillard's art is always very political and bold. Her videos rant about Trump, respond to events, defy given ideas about a woman's body and getting older. She is the protagonist of her videos and photographic series about alll kinds of politics, be they general, local, international, about the body or about art and museums. Grace talks and moves and takes responsibility for her life, well inside the present times, with the humor and irony and force of a brilliant activist. She's also a great painter.

Willow Gray makes poetic, dreamy gifs editing and layering out-of-focus images, taking stills from movies and amateur old super-8 films. Her videos are very short, as gifs tend to be, often quite nostalgic and usually silent: the sound in her moving images is given by the words she chooses and quotes from her favorite poets and writers. The looped images are hovering between still and movement. I feel the effort of her women stepping towards freedom and a new self-confidence while remembering the past, and accepting it beyond regret as a way of building the force to go on, to start over.

Reverie is the younger of the six. She's a performer and she has an excellent knowledge of Italian art, with which she likes to interact, in galleries and museums. I discovered her video journals and knowing that the autobiography dimension is a very important side of women's literature and art, decided that it deserved a place in my review. Month after month, Reverie becomes freer in her images and her memories. Her stories can be quite intimate, but she also likes taking risks. What will she do after flying with Marinetti and Futurism?

Evelin Stermitz is a photographer, as anybody can see in the rigorous way she frames her images. She appears and disappears in her perfect stills, then she breaks that perfection and you have to think again. What appeared like beauty and balance is disrupted and suddenly looks worryingly mysterious, even dangerous. She can use her voice and make music, too, and her works have been seen in many festivals around the world. A feminist, Stermitz founded ArtFem.TV years ago, showing videos by women, about women.

Carla Della Beffa, curator
January 2019

Second of two installments includes video artist:
Willow Gray
, Reverie and Evelin Stermitz

Note: Videos may go full screen.

Willow Gray

Willow Gray has worked as an architect and a dancer. Her videos and still images explore memory, often layering old found films, aiming to combine past, present, and future into one timeless emotion.


Instagram: @Willow_Gray

Facebook: Willow Gray

Giphy: Ambiguityfarm




After The Fall

Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
T.S.Eliot, Four Quartets


And so we keep pushing on, and trying to achieve it, trying to contain it in our simple hands, in the overflowing gaze and the speechless heart.
Rainer Maria Rilke, 9th Duino Elegy

Liminal Space

At the still point of the turning world...there the dance is.
Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
T.S.Eliot, Four Quartets


And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore


The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you. Rainer Maria Rilke

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Reverie, meaning "let yourself go into a realm of fantasy" in Italian, is the official birth-given middle name of the young visual artist. Of Tuscan origin, and a resident of Vinci, she lives and works in Milan. In addition to her own projects, performances and art works, she documents her every-day-life through short (maximum 3 minutes) videos called video-diaries. Not exactly artworks themselves but sharing-experiments, as Reverie loves to say: video-poems that everybody can understand... She produces different projects to study the interaction with the public. She explores video, photo and other ephemeral mediums, and out from her performances are born sculptures and installations using her personal creation (music, words and gestures...). Latest performances: “Tempo zero” (Fondazione Mudima, Milano), “Rinascimento ipersensibile” (Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze), “PourOntani” (Hotel Excelsior, Venezia Lido), “C.U.M. Confessione Unica Memoria” (Vinci, Ceoli).


Airdiary, Video Diary 09
Capannori, August 2018

I had a bit of a brainwave. It was last August and I asked myself: how can you do a performance ispired by Futurism and you didn't know what “to fly” does really mean? I decied to try the maximum expression of a jump and this video is the synthesis of that experience. It was meaninfull for my mind and for my body and I hope to convey this sensitive journey to the public of “Futura Poesia”, my artwork that will take place in November at the Estorick Collection.

(text excerpt)
Today I breathed for the first time.
I took my first baby-steps in the sky
in the silence of air
a futuristic wailing
an artist's duty
a promise to feel on my skin the love of speed.
Toward a new challenge: my “FUTURA POESIA”.

Free Thoughts, Video Diary 07
Rome, May 2018

Rome represents my Elsewhere, a safe house for my soul and an Utopia for my mind.
I live between Vinci and Milan but once a month I must go to Rome and stay a few day under that sky...

Free gestures
I put on a new light and an old wedding dress
I listen to my awkward gestures
Like nobody is watching me
As if I’m alone
As if I’m happy
An happy rêverie
Reverie’s daydream
On a roof in Rome
I look at me
On a roof in Rome I look at myself smiling
With my ex voto, San Luigi and my hand
Under the same sky

Video Diary 04

Vinci, December 2017

I need to live my roots.
When I'm in Tuscany, I use to wake up at six o'clock am and after breakfast I use to go out for a walk: a little journey to Ceoli, the hill of one of my latest performance, just to say hello to the Sun...

(text excerpt)
Slow and careful way
I look at the world around
A party
My eyes breathe otherwise invisible skies
The dawn is coming
It is no longer night and in the meantime
new roses are born
This is my time
my walk
the gift I give to myself

I will always remember the albatross who greeted me
the tears I shed
the daydreams made and kept
in the company of Nature
Here and now
I will always remember myself
lonely and happy

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Evelin Stermitz

Evelin Stermitz, M.A., M.Phil., studied Media and New Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and holds the degree in Philosophy from Media Studies. Her works in the field of media and new media art focus on post-structuralist feminist art practices. In 2008 she founded ArtFem.TV – Art and Feminism ITV ( and received a Special Mention for the project at the IX Festival Internacional de la Imagen, VI Muestra Monográfica de Media Art, University of Caldas, Manizales, Colombia, in 2010. Her works have been exhibited and screened at various venues such as the MMoMA Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia / Vetlanda Museum, Sweden / Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City / Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina / PAN Palazzo delle Arti Napoli / CAM Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, Italy / Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia / Fundació Joan Miró and CCCB Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain / Museum of Fine Arts, Florida State University, USA / MAC/VAL Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, France / Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA / International Museum of Women, San Francisco, USA.



Room Thoughts

Austria/USA 3'4"
Sound, Spiral Trom, composed by Elise Kermani with Kevin James, trombone and Elise Kermani, voice.
Performance and Video by Evelin Stermitz.

Thoughts and sounds are circulating in a bathroom-door-hallway performative scenario. Visible are doors and a window, white walls, a person in the tableau of cut-out view. The video describes isolation and reflexion, repeated voices, solitude and emptiness, exhaustion. As a performative video it is an adaption and convergence of body-to-room perspective.

The Art of Aging
Video performance
Performance, Sound, Video by Evelin Stermitz.

This video work reveals the irrational use of anti-aging products in times of a youth-obsessed culture and its ageism. Even the sophisticated names of cosmetic products are obscure and make promises far from any reality. According to a report by Global Industry Analysts, the world anti-aging products market is supported by the growing need of a youthful appearance among the aging population. In addition to changes in lifestyles effected by modern consumers to increase their chances of longevity, changing practices in personal grooming are resulting in more time and money being spent to minimize the vis ible effects of aging.

Many such products and treatments have not been proven to give lasting or major positive effects. Researchers found out that the top-rated products smoothed out some fine lines and wrinkles by less than 10 percent over 12 weeks, which is barely visible to the human eye.

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The curator

Carla Della Beffa lives and works in Milano, Italy, as a photo, video and relational artist. Formerly art director and creative director in international advertising agencies, in the past she has had experiences and exhibitions as a painter and a net-artist. Now she's mainly working with digital images and words, making exhibitions, producing artist's books, working on public art projects (Culburb 2012,  Noplace3 2016, 50th Premio Suzzara 2018 and others).

As a woman and an artist, she's always been interested in gender issues and in the relational side of life: see many of her videos and her latest book, Herstories, la centrale edizioni 2018.

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