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VASA video series ...

Almost Friends

a selection of Italian artists curated by Carla Della Beffa

December 2017
Forth of four installments

Note: Videos may go full screen.

Devis Venturelli

Devis Venturelli has exhibited video work in international institution since 2003, including Kunsthalle (Vienna), Venice Biennale, Museum Kulturhuset (Stockholm), MACRO Museum (Rome), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin), Stadtgalerie Kiel, Kunstverein Augsburg, Centre d'Art Santa Monica (Barcelona), Louis Seoane Foundation La Coruña. and other international festivals.







Sporting club
video HD, 3'30'' (2015)

Sporting club documents a performance in an Italian villa of the seventeenth century, about the relationship between historical dimension and contemporary. The frescoes of a historic building becomes wallpaper for a paradoxical athletic, artistic infrastructure.


video HD, 3' (2012)

Eterotopia describes urban spaces of otherness that are simultaneously physical and mental. It reflects on the relationship between spaces: the real dimension and its illusory fictitious superstructure.


Videoforart is a website where Liliana Carugati and Lorenzo Baldi collect and publish the videos they produce about art and architecture. This website has been created in order to meet new friends and share and produce new videos. It’s all about documentaries or video clips, trying to analytically read the artworks and show them through the camera. Liliana and Lorenzo make videos for a living in the corporate communication market and are both passionate about visual arts since the eighties, when they were among the co-founders of Milan’s art Gallery “Il Luogo di Gauss”.






Autocritica (2016) 
video HD

“Autocritica” (Self criticism) contains 73 statements by artists taking part in NoPlace, a web - organized, one-day exhibition (devised by Umberto Cavenago and developed with Ermanno Cristini)  which won the famed Italian “Premio Suzzara” in 2016, where the 3rd edition took also place. 609 artists took part in the event, each exhibiting or performing a work of his. We shot this video as a document of the variety of personalities, points of view and artistic behaviours which cohabited in the event. The complete version of the video was more than one hour long, this is a short-form video where single sentences have been freely extracted and sequenced. We justified the not-so-casual sequencing of the statements through an imaginary automatic editing algorithm.

English translation:
Yes, I need a ferocious self criticism… This has been an activists’ meeting from the movement…  I regret it, but it has been a beautiful and very horizontal time, and I’m so proud of taking part… I took a razor blade and I engraved, I cut it, a clean cut… And, with the tip of a knife, I’m going to transform this silhouette in a strange, peculiar kind of tigella (a typical local bread), which is a flat and always round kind of bread… I’m here in order to collect crumbs and stains… A place where the land decides the rules of the game, so we re-establish codes and rules… Since then my life changed… I’m happy because everything went in an orderly and respectful fashion… Moving backwards… Elanab… elanab…elanab (reads the display backwards, the word means “banal”)… In order to move forward, we need to look back, to take a step backwards refocusing…One is a cut on a gas cylinder… It’s a modular space, inspired by rationalist architecture… Here the artist starts again thinking, speaking his mind, claiming a path and direction… I go to hospitals, get these anatomical images and take them to the places devoted to the popularization of the aesthetics of the human body…In 2010 I collected the psychiatric medical records I found among the rubble of an hospital (after an earthquake)…  Silence… I’ve been invited to this crazy event…I indifferently watch anything passing by me… Silence… Yeah, I just got here and I have no idea of how it is downtown… 49 times here… Too much, too much… A pencil, sharpened on two sides - I can’t understand which is the front and which the back - in change of the word risquitto (ancient italian word meaning rest after work) … In the world there are too many unnecessary words, too many images, stop it… Speaks in English … Suuuuuu..zzara (the name of the event location)… I couldn’t find the time and I much neglected it… And, when I watched it, I said: I like it… I need to wrap and unwrap some skeins… So, I made this cloth weaving my hairs…And this loops endlessly… For me it’s such a precious meeting opportunity… A once-in-a-lifetime experience… I collect loosing scratchers, which represent one’s disillusion… So I trust paper a lot as a base… So that it falls like a rock in the middle of this 24 hours day… Silence … My artwork title is “Natural Or Digital”… With artworks connected to the social soup… However, the cup doesn’t exist, so I make it virtually… An overseer, whom you can identify by the way he dresses… A small bag, bought in a French shop, in change of the word nivale (ancient italian word meaning a perfect white colour, pure and shiny like snow) … I see things around me, I take a picture and I say: look at that… Maybe they are objects scattered all over the space… I always pick the first thing off the top of my head… Do not crush mosquitoes!… … Armando! (italian first name)…I’m curious, I like to talk to people A rhythm that, if it were to be overcome, I hope will lead us to the absolute… Which he can’t, despite he’s 106 years old… Or for any other activity, which nature I don’t want to know… Tacks, dots, tacks (in the Italian language, this makes a wordplay, changing only the last vowel)Silence …Something where attention and focus raise a power… Then, some thought comes … Silence …I like colours, I like raw materials… They are vintage work tools…People who’re going to receive this gift, shall give me back something which will be certified as a transfer of ownership… “Philip, we made it really simple. Would you like to say it?” “We reworked the messages coming from the artworks”… In this case, dialectic has been simplified, as for Hegel’s thesis, antithesis and synthesis… That’s all well and good!… You know, I had a new-found need to adopt some new positions… When we came here, he stole my iPhone and took a picture of my girlfriend’s thighs… Really, in my artworks, there’s no pornography… a metaphor appears, concerning flames, life and eventually an ambiguous manipulation… So we need to revitalize memory about the issue of women… A candy, coming from London, in change of the word traltissimo (ancient italian word meaning high, sublime, supreme)… All came from a chat on the beach with Alvise Bittente… The name of my work is “Energy Portal”, or energy, here it is, well, “Energy Portal”… Well, I continued to make artworks, but I didn’t show them to the public… A mistery which we must not damage for understanding’s sake… I think it’s difficult but not impossible…two spanish people arguing about the concept of recursion … I’ll get involved, ok, I’ll get involved… He decided that to get involved was unnecessary… I’m here because most friends are here too… “Hello” “Hello… Hey… Hello … No I’m giving an interview” “Ok, soon I’ll be with you” “No, no, absolutely don’t come here!”… Some clones getting out of this workshop… Sings… Which relations may I have with them, beyond a social call?… So, the idea is to see into the future… I’d say that beauty is here, among these different views, ages and opinions. And I think the world would take much profit, taking these things from art… So I started to work again, because all artists are so good. And me too.


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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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