Critics’ Picks

Giovanni Giaretta, The Nightshift, 2017, video, black-and-white and color, sound, 7 minutes 11 seconds. Installation view.


Giovanni Giaretta

Galleria Tiziana Di Caro
Piazzetta Nilo, 7
January 13–March 17

This exhibition of two video works and a series of photographs by Giovanni Giaretta investigates the disordered vision that results from the slippage between reality and fiction. The video installations, while different in feeling and technique, share a subtle connection in the way they navigate streams of consciousness, or voluntary unconsciousness.
The Nightshift, 2017, which clearly implies an autobiographical element, is a hypnotic narration of that confused somnambulant state when the imagination is its most fecund. Made inside an Amsterdam hotel and here projected on a screen that leans against the wall, the footage alternates between shots in color and in black-and-white—either taken by the artist or gleaned from security-camera recordings—to evoke the atmosphere of suspended, nocturnal time. Like The Nightshift, La casa (ostinato crescendo), 2018, indulges a fascination with the pretend. In this video, the artist appropriates the cinematographic language of horror films, choosing architecture as his principal subject. The video’s unrelenting sequence of lingering exterior shots—which depict the gardens of abandoned houses as well as other transverse and hidden views glimpsed from behind flora—elicit the type of suspense felt when spying or being spied on. A rustling soundtrack, a miniature dollhouse, an artificial fog, and, most of all, concise editing interspersed with extremely rapid frames and visual decompositions make this work a veritable exercise in style.
The photographic series “Everything into Something Else,” 2017, also plays with image degradation. The project depicts, in negative, oxidized mirrors from archaeological collections that, having lost their reflective capacity, convey only the physicality of their materials.
Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.