Name Ares

Friday, November 10

VB 62/SPASIMO PALERMO - Vanessa Beecroft - 26” – 2008
Courtesy : Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan - Naples & Caroline Smulders, Paris

Since 2008 sculpture is the genre that the artist has been exploring and “redefining”, together with performance art, in what has increasingly become an investigation and synthesis of the terrain vague that unites “the arts of time and the arts of space”. “The unnatural juxtaposition between the life and warmth of the bodies and the cold stillness of stone - says the artist - highlights the melancholy and fascination of sculpture”. The performance VB62 held by Vanessa Beecroft in the Church of Santa Maria dello Spasimo in Palermo recalls the tradition of late baroque Sicilian sculpture, transforming the simple use of stucco into a refined and fashionable art form.

A group of gesso sculptures and a group of women, below the apse of the church, raise questions about notions of the real and the unreal, maintaining an unbridgeable gap between the figures and the public.

TANKER - Noémie Goudal - 6” - 2013
Courtesy : Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire
Production: Spectre

The crew members of an oil tanker are filmed, all armed with a bucket filled with some kind of liquid, climbing down an endless ladder descending into the 23-metre-deep tank, then hoisting these same buckets, empty, using a rope to the only opening at the very top. Noémie Goudal explores the poetry of the industrial space and the possibilities of its appropriation, between reinvention and cyclic rituals.

ON THE BEACH - Goran Skofic - 24” - 2016
Courtesy : Galerie Dix9 Hélène Lacharmoise

A single frame. Sea, sky, and a beach. And many people who are headed somewhere. Some are looking for something, some are waiting for something. Some are quiet, some are talking. Some are by themselves, some are in the company of others, and some aren't here. Some can hear something, others pretend they do. Some aren't certain whether they've seen all of this before, others think that things used to be different. Some are looking for something better, while others stay in from of the screen, watching them leave.

OFF TAKES – Hao Jingban – 21"18 - 2016
Courtesy : Blindspot
Since 2012, Hao Jingban has been conducting research and filming for Beijing Ballroom project. She traces the present ballrooms in Beijing of the two waves of ballroom dancing in the early 1950s and post-Cultural Revolution late 1970s. In the three years of shooting, Hao attempts different video languages to explore these interweaving historical narratives.

Hao’s most recent video work “Off Takes” (2016) originates from the discarded footages from this project. These personal life stories, bound up in the shifting courses of political climates, had once failed to be interpreted because of their historical distance and the absurdity of reality. Through the reaorganization and reactivation of these once deselected fragments, Hao meditates on the semiotic and affective relations between image and message.  

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11

L’EXTASE DOIT ETRE OUBLIEE - Evangelia Kranioti – 32” - 2017
Courtesy : Galerie Sator

Obscuro Barroco is a documentary-fiction on two screens about the dizzying heights of gender and metamorphosis. It is also a cinematographic hommage to a land of extremes, the city of Rio de Janeiro. Following the path of iconic transexual figure Luana Muniz (1961-2017), the film explores different quests for the self through transvestism, carnaval and political struggle. In turn, it asks questions about the desire for transformation of the body, both intimate and social.

KOROPA - Laura Henno - 19" - 2016
Courtesy : Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire
Production: Spectre


Ben is a pilot and repairman of kwassa-kwassa, traditional fishing boats of the Comoros, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean divided by a violent border inherited from colonisation. Like in the Mediterranean, many risk their lives in the attempted crossing from Anjouan to Mayotte, the archipelago’s only island that remains French today. To escape misery, Ben abandoned fishing to become a people smuggler. In this shadowy enterprise, he does his best to stick to his ethics and ensure his passengers’ safety. This is the trade he is passing on, in the dead of night, to Patron. To escape a conviction, Ben has no other choice than to make of this child a “commander”, as he is too young to be put in prison. Koropa plays out this silent rite of passage, this solemn apprenticeship, the transmission of a know-how that owes as much to deceit as to the art of piloting a hostile ocean. With its short and radical form, its abstract space, Koropa escapes the documentary form to produce a classical drama in which two silent figures, those of father and son, two bodies share a perilous journey on the brink of the land of the dead, navigating a ghost-haunted ocean. A crossing that awakens memories of many others, in a world where seas arise as borders and tombs. (Olivier Marboeuf)  

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12

BORGES IN ALHAMBRA - Sergio Vega - 11"46 - 2013
Courtesy : Karsten Greve

In a radio interview aired in Buenos Aires in the early 1980s Jorge Luis Borges said to feel fortunate that blindness came to him after seeing the Alhambra and not before. The writer had visited the Alhambra for the first time in 1918 when he was nineteen years old. Ever since, he would recall the event as an extraordinary experience that marked his aesthetic sensibility. Almost sixty years later, while being not entirely blind of one eye and totally blind of the other, Borges returned to Granada with his companion Maria Kodama. Based in the detailed description of his blindness, this hypothetical work attempts to interpret the plausible ways in which he may have experienced walking through the palaces and gardens of the Alhambra one afternoon of the spring of 1976.

TRAUM – Smith – 22’’ - 2017
Courtesy : Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire
Production: Spectre

Time and country unspecified. Yevgueni, 21, is a young aerospace engineer. While he dreams of travelling into space, his actual job consists of working at the spaceport of an aerospace centre as a spacecraft launch operator. During the particularly critical launch of a Soyouz space shuttle containing astronauts, Yevgueni suddenly loses consciousness causing loss of contact with the crew in orbit and the explosion of the spaceship in space. Devastated by this catastrophe, he gradually loses touch with reality and is overwhelmed by the trauma that haunts him.

LANDSCAPE AT NOON - Roy Samaha (co-scripted with Masha Refka) - 66'' – 2014-2017
Courtesy : Orjouane Productions et Galerie Tanit
Copyright : Roy Samaha

Nasri, a young film-maker is working on his latest movie, The Last Portrait, set during the Lebanese civil war. He feels that all his reconstructed scenes look fake, he is unable to represent death. In spite of researching in archives, watching videos of events from the time, he is obsessed with the idea that there is an element of truth missing and lacking a certain tension of reality. Feeling at a loss, Nasri decides to take a research trip to Cyprus. There, a buffer zone reminiscent of the one that divided East from West Beirut, is still present; he thinks that situating himself where this kind of geopolitical tension is still explicit, might help him with his film. But once he crosses the buffer zone to the Turkish side, his initial purpose is forgotten. He takes a sightseeing tour on his own. While walking in the port, he is approached by a stranger whoupon seeing him taking pictures, strikes a conversation with him. Nasri, for some reason, presents himself as a retired war photographer. The stranger offers to hire him to take one last portrait of a recently deceased old British expat aristocrat, "as such is our custom", he informs him. Nasri accepts. Embarking on what is supposed to be a short trip, he will find himself wandering into a nightmarish' journey, that has the outward appearance of a summer vacation in sunny Mediterranean landscapes, between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey."

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