How did you approach the selection process for this Carte Blanche series?
When I was invited by Philippe Del Drago to curate a carte blanche for the 40th edition of FIFA, I immediately thought that I would have chosen films made by Italian artists to give the Canadian public a way to get to know this kind of moving images production. Born both for the circuit of contemporary art or to be released in cinema, these films have no international distribution. On the other hand, it is also a magnificent opportunity for the artists themselves to show their work.
Can you tell me about the Lo Schermo Dell’Arte program, how you’re involved, and how these films relate to the program?
I co-founded Lo Schermo Dell’Arte in 2008 in Florence, and I have been the director ever since. Its identity as a film and contemporary art festival, which puts together documentaries on contemporary art and films made by artists, has grown stronger over time without ever losing its main goal, which is promoting the production of the emerging generation of international artists who work with moving images. In fact, the 5 films of this carte blanche have been presented in different editions of the festival or have been programmed for other events curated by us. Furthermore, we have solid relationships of exchange and collaboration with all 5 authors.
I watched many of these films in a row and found that each invited very different modes of attention from me as a spectator. Were you thinking of how these films would work as a whole, how they might speak to or interact with one another?
What I tried to do was, despite the limited time allowed, to give an overview of the different linguistic and stylistic ways in which Italian artists work with moving images: the fast pace of editing materials downloaded from the internet, the slow and meditative development of film shooting, the work on animation, the discussed theme of objectivity of the image, the original narrative construction of a documentary.
It was fun to realize that when Philippe asked me to give a screening order to the 5 films, I found out that the list - just as it came to my mind - was surprisingly perfect in terms of the rhythm of vision and cross-references between the films.
Is there anything in particular you hope these films communicate to audiences about the present moment in Italian filmmaking?
One of the aspects that contributed to the success of Lo Schermo Dell’Arte is precisely that of presenting in a cinema theatre works that were not born for that specific context, but which were realized to be shown in museums or galleries. For these works, rather than speaking of Italian filmmaking, I think it’s more appropriate to talk about moving images, as the production model is very different from that of the cinema world. I believe that today the moving images production by visual artists is one of the more interesting aspects of the Italian contemporary art scene.