alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

Shezad Dawood | Leviathan

Posted in nEws and rEleases, Uncategorized by alcramer on May 1, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.07.15 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.07.06 PM

Shezad Dawood, Leviathan Cycle (production stills), 2017. HD video. Courtesy of the artist and UBIK Productions.

May 7–September 24, 2017

Shezad Dawood
Leviathan
An episodic narrative

Palazzina Canonica
Riva dei Sette Martiri 1364A, Castello
30122 Venice
Italy
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

Fortuny Factory
Giudecca 805
30133 Venice
Italy
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am-1pm, 2pm-6pm

An exhibition of a new and ambitious body of work by artist Shezad Dawood will open in May 2017 to coincide with the 57th Venice Biennale. The show will mark the launch of Leviathan, a ten-part film cycle conceived and directed by the artist that will unfold over the next three years. Leviathan is also being released as a series of written fictions. Episode 1 is available to read at www.leviathan-cycle.com.

The first two episodes of the film will be presented alongside a new series of textile and sculptural works in the newly-restored Palazzina Canonica, the former headquarters of the Institute of Marine Sciences in Venice, which is opening to the public for the first time since the 1970’s. The two-part exhibition will also feature a site-specific intervention in the Fortuny Factory in the island of Giudecca.

Curated by Alfredo Cramerotti, Leviathan is being presented by the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR) and Fortuny in Venice. Following the launch in May, the project will embark on a three-year UK and international tour, culminating in a final presentation of all ten episodes in 2020.

Leviathan is set in an imaginary future whose inhabitants are the survivors of a cataclysmic solar event. Each episode is told from the point of view of a different character and follows them as they drift across Europe, Asia and North Africa, encountering a series of idiosyncratic communities. Filming locations include the Institute of Marine Sciences’ oceanographic platform in the Adriatic Sea, the Natural History Museum in London and an abandoned island in the Venetian lagoon.

In dialogue with a wide range of marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists and trauma specialists, Dawood has been exploring some key fault lines of the present and their possible interconnections. Taking a global and collective approach, Leviathan is a reflection on where we could be if a deeper understanding of trauma and climate erosion is not found, looking at what is not only a humanitarian crisis, but a wider crisis within our biosphere.

The new series of textile paintings has been developed in dialogue with the renowned textile manufacturer Fortuny, and will incorporate several of their hand-made fabrics. Dawood has furthermore been working closely with the Labanof in Milan, an institute that conducts research on personal effects lost by migrants during sea crossings to Lampedusa, in order to help families identify missing relatives. A series of artefacts and objects from the Labanof archive will provide the visual references for the new textile works.

The paintings will be installed in the library of the Palazzina Canonica, as well as in the showroom of the Fortuny factory in the Giudecca, established in 1919 and still operational today. In addition, a large-scale outdoor neon work titled Island Pattern, developed especially for the Fortuny Factory, will be unveiled within the garden façade of the building.

The exhibition in Venice will be accompanied by a lively public programme that will bring together specialists involved in the project for a series of informal discussions akin to the philosophical “agora” in Ancient Greece. These discussions will also be available in digital form through the project’s web platform, creating an archive aimed at scientists, researchers, students and the general public. In addition, a special film programme curated by Shezad Dawood in collaboration with streaming platform MUBI will run throughout the duration of the exhibition, with free film screenings taking place at the Palazzina Canonica.

The third film episode will be released in September 2017 and incorporated into the exhibition. Subsequent episodes will be co-commissioned and presented in partnership with a series of international venues, culminating in the presentation of all ten episodes in 2020.

The project is being developed with the support of Timothy Taylor, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Galerie Gabriel Rolt, CREAM – University of Westminster, University of Salford Art Collection with support from The Contemporary Art Society and a circle of private patrons.

Advertisements

‘All That Fits’ exhibition – video introduction of Michael Takeo Magruder’s work

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on June 19, 2011

All That Fits: the Aesthetics of Journalism, curated by Alfredo Cramerotti and Simon Sheikh, includes the work ‘Insurance AES256 by Michael Takeo Magruder.

This is his video introduction to the work.

‘All That Fits’ exhibition – video introduction by Alfredo Cramerotti

Posted in nEws and rEleases, shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on June 15, 2011

All That Fits: the Aesthetics of Journalism is an exhibition curated by Alfredo Cramerotti and Simon Sheikh, exploring the complements and conflicts between art practice and journalism.

Exhibitions open at Derby QUAD from 28 May to 31 July 2011.

Protected: La gentilezza degli estranei

Posted in Storie [Italian] by alcramer on May 24, 2007

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Enter your password to view comments.

Filmtherapy, or the ideal cure for the soul

Posted in shortEssays/cortiSaggi [English/Italian] by alcramer on April 11, 2007

What is filmtherapy? It’s the idea that some psychological attitudes and mental behaviours can be influenced by a film, addressed and eventually corrected thereafter.

Pre-thouht.
Getting cured of crisis, stress, anxiety, or even an illness such a cancer, simply cinema-going, might provoke an outburst of indignation. But it’s not a new idea: the soul-touching power of representation goes uninterrupted from the cave age, straight to the art show, via Greek theatre. To use your local Blockbuster round the corner as the neighbourhood pharmacy might rise a few eyebrows, and so I wanted to get a slightly deeper opinion. I did my homework, and here are some considerations on regard. It’s not a therapy-description: it’s only what I got out of it, a strictly personal view. Comments welcome.

First.
It’s somehow easier to involve a patient to talk about him/herself in front of a movie, rather than during a psychological session. Provided that is the right movie.
The film on the screen will ignite some parallels with one’s own life experience, and consequently comments, opinions, judgements will become easier if referred to the movie characters than towards the self. The therapist, or the medical staff who has the responsibility to deal with the patient, will draw a range of data from the cinematographic experience. According to Birgit Wolz, counsellor on http://www.cinematherapy.com, an American organization devoted to filmtherapy, there are different approaches to involve a person in a cinematic experience: the let-yourself-go formula (watch the movie and relax, better with some popcorn supplies), the evocative session (to learn more about oneself), the cathartic experience (laugh, or cry, or scream, or fear, being in a state of deep involvement).
It works for the medical staff too: for instance, often doctors and nurses in exchanging opinions about terminal patients, such those suffering from cancer, often recur to a film scene, or dialogue, or story (take “Marvin’s room”, to give you an idea). They do this to better indicate their own, and the patient’s, emotional approach. And some hospitals (the Policlino Gemelli in Rome, among the others) started to include film sessions and screenings in the special training of their staff.

Second.
It sounds more a creative writing course than a therapy, but some counsellor advise their patients to write down their own fears, dreams, and expectation in the shape of a film.
We can easily admit the two areas are not very far from each other. One can be advised, for instance, to imagine her/his life, or to approach her/his worries, according to a film script. Like medicals one self-prescribes for the soul (never tried Prozac?), a film-subject or script can be prescribed to imagine life differently, with more fun, more depth, more success, or less hectic, less responsibility, and so on.
Throughout the process, what is intimately liked, hated, depressing or reinvigorating for the author will become easy to spot. In-between the lines, that is.

Third.
Filmtherpay is not only directly soul-building. It can also be self-indulging and self-commiserating, why not? Yes, exactly: this helps to stop+go. A couple of days of favourite, silly and not-engaging movies, by yourself or in company of friends, spouses, lovers, maybe with the help of unhealthy addictions (sweets, Linus-blanket, ect.) or in the warm and soft of one’s own bed (crispy crumbs around), will do better than a therapist. Bad-hair day, job commitments, identity crisis, broken dreams, all of them evaluated and re-addressed with the support of a good movie. Thelma & Louise, for instance, where characters free themselves from their routine. The ending is not so re-building in a way, but you got the idea.

Fourth.
This is pure Zen. Be your own cure. Just get in touch with someone who can ‘guide’ you through the process (like the pharmacist with medicine for a cold), and develop your own approach to what’s going on in your mind and soul. Through movies. Feeling underestimate? “My big fat Greek wedding”. Feeling trapped by a love story? “fatal attraction”. Etc.
Watch out: there are no films realized on purpose to solve crisis, depression, or illness. There is no such a thing like a film listing, with movies against mobbing, dumping, or to get promoted, or seduce. There is only a personal approach to it, which can be different according to time, situation, age, social status, family, and so on. Cinema can be a therapy, but not a cure (unlike medicine for the cold): it’s more an homeopathic approach, which use a small segment of your state to grasp the bigger picture.

Fifth.
Now the bad news: sorry, you cannot become a better parent simply going and watching “Kramer vs. Kramer”. Filmtherapy has a value only in perspective. Cinema as representation and experience has something to offer for those, who want to become aware about themselves, not those expecting results from seeing a shot about something. It’s a path, and it’s quite long.
A few medical institutions, such as the Neuroscience Institute in Florence, use films to enhance a psychotherapy process of the patient, in respect to one’s own attitudes and internal growth, and never, never substitute a film list with a medical rigor. A movie is a tool, and not an end in itself. Let’s relax, it’s not (yet) the end of the world.

After-thouht.
Cinematherapy is a development of booktherapy. Some doctors and therapists used to recommend a list of books to read, and discuss, in order to realize a path of self-awareness. At some point, someone wondered if there were any movie to implement, or even substitute, books. It make sense, right?
From there, it was a short step to establish cinematherapy as recognized practice. Relationship crisis, teenager problems, family issues, job stress, psychosomatic illnesses, are all but a few situations in which a cinematic experience can be revealing, according to “Filmtherapy”, a book by Vincenzo Matronardi, psychotherapist and director of the behaviours and deviance observatory at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome: 160 pages of psychofilmic compendium where he lists films, according to psychological themes, life phases, emotional contents and problems.
A good source to have an idea of the matter. But, hey! After that, I would follow my instinct…

%d bloggers like this: