San Gimignano

Marcella Vanzo

Galleria Continua | San Gimignano

Marcella Vanzo’s fourteen-minute double video projection, Summertime (all works 2007), focuses on two very different seasonal Mediterranean migrations: Illegal immigrants from North Africa arrive on the shores of the Italian island of Lampedusa, while tourists land on the beaches of the nearby Greek island of Zakynthos. The projection begins with a panoramic view of an empty beach on Zakynthos, a rusted shipwreck in the background; the image fills both screens. The notes of Janis Joplin singing George Gershwin’s “Summertime” blend with the noise of the sea and the sound of cicadas in the sun. Then the image splits in two. On one screen, Italian coast guard patrol boats appear, laden with refugees—silent, still, fully dressed, black. The people who fill the other screen are white; they wear bathing suits and blast their portable radios, and when their boat docks, they jump into the water.

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