Spedisci Un Video

Vera Vita Gioia

Spedisci on video” (Send a video), a show hosted by the city of Naples, included work by more than eighty Italian artists from several generations—all working with video, but in various styles and genres. For some years video has had an increasingly strong presence in the Italian art scene, and one can now argue that it has a stronger impact than painting, sculpture, or any other media. Anyone working in video was eligible to participate in this show; one had only to respond to an invitation that ran in magazines and newspapers, and was announced on the radio.

The first exhibition of its type to be organized in a private Italian gallery, “Spedisci un video” picked up the thread of “Audience 0,01,” a group show organized two years ago by Helena Kontova. The show presented an array of work by visual artists (most of whom are from the younger generation), and by video professionals who have spent years working in television, such as Mario Sasso. With a fluid effect, Maurizio Colantuoni’s “Per una strategia antiangolo” (For an anticorner strategy), depicted rapidly shifting, distorted panoramas of anonymous buildings. Colantuoni, a Neapolitan artist, suggested a rapid run past rounded-off peripheries, shot with a wide-angle lens from the interior of a moving car. Maurizio Elettra’s Elettrico Maramao (Electric noset-humber), and Domenico Salierno’s Enpoze (Sorcery), on the other hand, were both shot indoors. In the former a ballet of light was gradually obscured by black paint, causing even the bulb that was the sole light source to disappear, leaving only the soundtrack; while Enpoze documented the lives of those who pursue black magic.

And it was this sense of having the freedom to “consume” images as one wished that was striking, leading one to reflect on a special characteristic of video: the ability to reappropriate images, manipulate and remanipulate frames, and navigate through images using various tempos and types of montage. Anyone who spent a number of hours viewing the projections on the show’s four monitors could construct his or her own palimpsest from the sequences of images. The uninterrupted flow of images in this show referenced cinema, television, theater, video dips, animation, and advertising spots, while maintaining an utterly personal quality. The aesthetic displayed was based on quotidian scenes, both real and invented. Involving art as narrative, cinema, and theater, it was based not only on the latest technology, but also on changing communication systems and the contamination of genres.

Francesco Galdieri

Translated from the Italian by Marguerite Shore.