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VASA video series ...

Almost Friends

a selection of Italian artists curated by Carla Della Beffa



October 2017
Second of four installments

Note: Videos may go full screen.

Carlo Dell'Acqua

Carlo Dell’Acqua, born in Bormio in 1966, graduated at Brera Fine Art Academy in Milan, where he lives and works. His artworks (video, sculptures and others media) deal with a reality torn to pieces but still functioning. They seem to have a political - and sometimes uncompassionate - hold on reality, from within the core of an abstract suspension, the question of its being and means.

Doppio cerchio, 2003

(extract) Single-channel DV Pal video, colour, sound, 7’00’’ loop

Two men armed with scythes perform an action corresponding to “a harvest”. Confined in a tight space, they move together in a circular pattern, hitting the blades on the floor.

Debora Hirsch

Milan-based Brazilian artist Debora Hirsch, has an M.S. in Industrial Engineering at the University of São Paulo and an MBA SDA from Bocconi University in Milan. She has shown at nGbK Berlin, WhiteBox New York,  Anthology Film Archives New York, MuBE São Paulo, Galleria Pack Milan, MOCAK Krakow, MADEINBRITALY London, Bernice Steinbaum Miami, Stefan Stux Gallery New York, MACRO Rome, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Turin, Quadriennale di Roma, GAMC Palazzo Forti Verona, MAGA Gallarate.

The Last Supper

Video, 1'20"

The Last Supper combines contradictions and false myths that can be found in São Paulo. The “apostles” are short-lived delinquents, protagonists of a brutal urban life of which they are often the victims. This precariousness of existence is further accentuated by using portraits that are hard to distinguish. Their features decomposed by the low definition of the pixels, makes both the identification and the identity problematic, and indicates the multiplicity of cases.

Debora Hirsch




Two virtual profiles, handsome and imperturbable, similar but not identical, are elegantly silhouetted against a plain black ground. They pronounce, alternately, a string of words constructed by identifying, through an electronic dictionary, synonyms of the word that opens the sequence, ethics: ethics, morality, values, principles, beliefs… But the synonyms do not exist. Judgment, verdict, power, influence… Paradoxically, in the rapid progression, the meaning of the words gradually shifts until it has reached the very opposite of ethics: No ethics. The subversive power of evil seems to lie behind the words pronounced.
Where attention to differences is lacking, a degeneration of meaning may be produced.

But life, history does not proceed in a single direction. Having reached the end, the sequence starts again, beginning from the end: No Ethics, immorality… After the brutal descent, there is a re-ascent, until we return to Ethics, or rather Etix, anagram of Exit. The critical attention of the smallest details, to the worlds of sense and experience that are opened up behind even a single word, may represent the way out.
© Gabi Scardi, 2008

Stefania Migliorati

Stefania Migliorati (b.1977, Bergamo, Italy) lives and works between Bergamo and Berlin. Her works and her projects are investigations on the themes associated with the concepts of space and location, encompassing many of the different notions of how these terms can be applied. The artist, mentioned at the 2013 Talent Prize and at the 2008 Premio Profilo Arte, has exhibited in numerous galleries and institutions such as Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa (2017), La Fabbrica del Vapore (Milan, 2015), Beton7 (Atene, 2015), Palazzo Busacca (Scicli, 2014), Zajia lab (Beijing, 2012), Galerie Weisser Elefant (Berlin, 2010), CCCB, Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona (Barcelona, 2009), Galleria A+A (Venice, 2009), Museo della Permanente (Milan, 2008) and Magazine (Belgrade, 2007), amongst others.

Carpeting the Ceiling

video animation, 1´50" (4:3), 2012

During my residency in Beijing at the Lab-Yit program, I decided to analyze the impact of my surroundings on my language.

Every day, I woke up and wrote down the first thought that crossed my mind, attempting to articulate that single thought in between the conscious and unconscious state in the hope that it could reveal some deeper influences.
The results revealed a definite and obvious change even over such a short period (21 days) and reports, as a daily diary, the phases of artistic production and of the settling-in period in such a different environment. Thoughts have not been censored and maintain the grammar mistakes due to the influences of an unknown language.


Torino / Reggio Calabria
{movimentomilc} is a transmedia artist duo composed by Michele Tarzia and Vincenzo Vecchio. They use the language of cinema as a means of experimentation, in a continuous investigation of artistic expression forms, and going into the historical archives of the mind to uncover the hidden dynamics that a word or a sound renewed in the light of the movement.

Ciò dubbi [I have doubts]

transcription (first part)

What's the fight? What is the job?
It starts from history, from the past.
Weavers factories. 1897.
All people together. Evolution. The workers' struggle.
They read. Books. Chapter. One night, I was very tired and I push the wrong button that controls this machine here, it caught me and crushed me.

I was becoming a shower tray. Strikes.
He manifested. Who participated in the struggle. He rebelled more. I found that before the factory worker was more informed, reading newspapers, more motivated because he earned more. The worker was working. House. Piece of bread. More aware. Closer to the labor union. Now. He's demotivated. There is no more work because the Italians close factories, take them abroad, where they can take advantage from the Eastern. Chinese. Vietnam. Thailand. Bangladesh. Africans. Because there is no work and the Italians invest abroad. Agriculture. Italians steal. They do nothing. Landowners. Then, they work for peanuts. Then, they maybe don't even pay them. Exploiting these people in need. A piece of bread to eat. They take advantage of poverty. Humble people. Brothers.
So this one is starved, give him five euro, ten euro. (…)


Giancarlo Norese

Giancarlo Norese is an Italian artist, one of the initiators and the editor of publications of the Progetto Oreste during the Nineties, a network which organized several common initiatives and was invited by Harald Szeemann at the Venice Biennale in 1999. His work has been also exhibited at Villa Medicis in Rome, the P.S.1 and Performa 07 in New York, Galerija Škuc in Ljubljana, Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Tent in Rotterdam, Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Giancarlo has been widely involved in many collaborative projects including experimental education (Free Home University), artists’ books (a certain number of books.), unusual actions (lu cafausu), artist-run spaces (kunsthalle novi), and the setting up of a foundation (Lac o Le Mon).

Orn (porn with no P)

Over the last few years I started working on this series of very short videos, under the common title “Orn (porn with no P)”. A sort of “ornamental” porn with no sex nor nudities, where desire is fully present and never accomplished. The most recent clips were made with a brand-new camera equipped with “wrong” ukrainian lens from the 50s which made focusing impossible: a metaphorical statement of failure and incompleteness.

Almost Friends

The conceptual difference between video and film lies not as much in the support, since today many films are somehow digital anyway, as in the language. If I had to define it, I would say that video is usually based on a single idea, visual or other, not on telling a story with a start and an end. It might tell a story, actually, but it will sound and look different from feature films narration: for some authors, the mix of techniques tells the two levels of fact and feeling; for others, a simple image can be exploited for minutes and enter into a never-ending loop; some joke, or hint at emotions, with flashes of very few seconds.

Being invited by VASA project to curate a selection of Italian videos and films, I chose artists I know and appreciate: some of my colleagues and almost friends. Most of the selected videos are by visual artists that work with moving images as well as with other media. One of them produces great videos but defines himself a painter. A few are film- and documentary-makers. Some prefer to express themselves with performances. Others still use drawings and animation.

Techniques and subjects are different, and vary from one artist to another: homages to other artists and intimate, everyday details; works about economy and visions of cities; poetry and technology; performances and interviews.

With my review, I aim to give an overall idea of of what happens in Italy in the field of moving images: not an impossibly complete catalog, but a multi-faceted sampling (in alphabetical order) of good, varied, significant works by people I like.

The series will include four installments: September, October, November and December.
Each installment will be archived. All works remain under the © of the author.

The curator

Carla Della Beffa is a video, photo and relational artist and curator. Formerly art director and creative director in international advertising agencies, she has had experiences (and exhibitions) as a painter and a net-artist. Carla lives in Milan but is actively involved in international residencies, exhibitions and festivals.


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