Giulia Giannola

Individual and society, individual action and collective action are some of the themes around which Giulia Giannola’s work circulates. The italian artist just won the first Völklinger Art Award for "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor" (2012) which will also be shown as part of our festival program in September. The video takes its name from the English nursery rhyme datable between 1475 and 1695, sung by children in a counting game with buttons, flower petals, cherry stones, pebbles or other objects in order to ‘determine’ their future job: tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief. Giannola converts the game into factory work, staging a human production line intent on extracting seeds from watermelons. Each individual has his role, mechanical, repetitive, punctuated by the rhythms of the nursery rhyme which is recited by the last link in the chain who is involved in counting the seeds. A reflection on work conditions in a factory before the industrial revolution where the workers act like mechanisms of an immobile engine. The selection of each frame, the formal balance, the aesthetic care and the repetitiveness of the rhythm exalt this work of Giannola who succeeds in transforming the scene into a theatrum mundi in which we can all recognise ourselves.


Giulia Giannola was born in Naples in 1985. She studied Visual Arts at IUAV University in Venice, where she began to work with performances and video. After her degree she moved to Berlin where she is currently studying at the Universität der Künste. In her performances she creates choreographies, staged situations, and actions in public spaces to reflect on the value of personal and collective time. Giulia Giannola Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor Book: Referring to the unofficial twinnings that reflect Berlin’s current immigrant population instead of the official equivalents of the city, Invisible Twinning explores the city’s long tradition of urban horticulture and reveals ideas of health in the widest sense: as balance and imbalance as well as on a societal and personal level, looking at how people navigate and share resources within a city. Invisible Twinning was published as part of the Asia-Pacific-Weeks 2011 at the House of World Cultures in Berlin. Images: Video Stills from Giulia Giannola's Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor (2012), Courtesy of e x t r a s p a z i o, Rome

Videos by Giulia Giannola

Show Reel Timing It's a calm little place Clock Swimming Lane This video deals with the theme "Time". In this video I played with different time levels. The swimming pool divided in lanes is particularly suitable for this purpose. Every swimmer has a different speed (natural speed, innatural slowness, innatural quickness…). The resulting absurd and chaotic situation, can be a metaphor for the collective time. Despite chronological time is the same for all, everyone has its own "speed. Kochzeiten (Cooking Times) Awarded project Invisible Twinning Meridian| Urban Project, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin “Experiment über kollektive Lebensrhythmen” On the May 20th, 2010 four actors paid 10 euros worth of supermarket items with coins valued at 1 cent upto 50 cents at the supermarket Real in Braunschweig. 
The aim of the action was to stop the flow of traffic in the lines and record the behaviour of the cashiers and the people waiting in line. Some of them stressed, some of them resigned, and some of them offered to pay themselves, in order speed up the process. 
In the performance, money, which is conceived to accelerate commercial exchanges, ends up causing the payment process to even go slower and stop the normal flowing of operations.
 The antropologue Marc Augé has defined the anthropological “no-places” (supermarkets along with shopping-malls, hotel chains, airports) as a category of places, mostly with commercial aims, where people
 are often inserted into mechanisms, characterised 
by standardised behaviours which they have learned. 
 The supermarket is a specific place which is part of a bigger system, and influences our everyday life and its rhythms, and definetly defines them. Also see Elettrocardiodramma, experiment on collective life rhythms (1) -> More at Giulia Giannola's Vimeo Channel