Elisabetta Di Sopra (IT)


ikono On Air Festival “Domestic Visions” curated by ELISABETTA DI SOPRA from ikono tv on Vimeo.

DOMESTIC VISIONS is the chance given to selected artists to explore their inner space and look into themselves, as if they were at home, among the walls of their routine—be it real or unconscious. Such ordinary realm is made of objects and actions which find extra-ordinary meanings as they rise from the space of the dialogue they hold —bringing moments of unexpected magic.

There are many ways to approach video art. In this exhibition, the aim is to link the video art to the origin of its language. The poetic core of ordinary life manifests itself, even though the sound editing and the plain of special effects somehow limited the beginning of the project, serving as outline for video Artists throughout the decades.

Mere shots of real life representing alternatively—or at the same time—a silence or a talking picture become the brand of the Artist. This is the kickoff of cinema as we know it, the animation motion picture able to give to the audience instant emotions.

DOMESTIC VISIONS gives then the opportunity to delve into the video language. The body on the stage is not a mere physical entity but it melts with reality and becomes the metaphor for an enclosed space—hence the title of the exhibition. The language gets basic and concise, it deals with deep and intense contents, guiding the spectator to look at him/herself and face his/her own sensitivity.

All the artists involved in this festival are first of all filmmakers, however the different ways they developed to approach video-art mark their peculiarity. The protagonists of this extraordinary event are accomplished artists as well as young artists, side by side with those who have made the history of video art in Italy.
The different techniques presented in this exhibition are as different as the style ascribable to each work of art exposed; they range from live shot, passing through animation in stop-motion to 3D.

Special thanks to the Historical Art Gallery Il Cavallino (Venice), whose contribution boosted our project. Together with Il Cavallino, art/tapes/22 by Maria Bicocchi in Florence and Lola Bonora at the Art Center of Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara represent a vital source to promote a new dynamic form to artistic creativity in Italy -such important contributions can be seen in other countries worldwide, particularly in the US.


Paolo Cardazzo, enlightened art gallerist, used the glorious Sony portpack to realize “Da zero a zero” (From Zero to Zero) in 1974. The video is presented at the beginning of our exhibition, as a tribute to P. Cardazzo, in honor of his outstanding work. The action follows the subject walking the circuit along the ancient walls of Motovun Fortress (small ancient town in Istria), for a total distance of 640 steps. Every 64 steps, the protagonist places a numbered card (from 1 to 9) on the ground, so that, as he gets at the end of the track, he gets back to the starting point, where he can collect the card No. 1.

“Frammenti di uno spazio interiore” (Fragments of Inner Space) by Luigi Viola and Paolo Fassetta is a good example of a collaboration between two different artists. The video is filled with images stirred up from the interweaving of reality and imagination. Such images, collected in the mental space of the story, change according to the changes of perceptions and moods. The poetics of body expression and the matter, freely floating in the empty space, do come up in a state of harmony with nature.

Claudio Ambrosini presents “Autobiografia” (Autobiography) in which a claustrophobic state becomes increasingly unsustainable. The artist is in a room without windows except for a glass- door. He acts as if he himself were a lung, moving on all fours in extreme grief, breathing in and out, short of breath, inhaling stuffy air from the keyhole.

Back to the present day,special mention needs the virtual world depicted in Planets by Igor Imhoff, one of the most influential representative of Italian graphic animation. In this video, the cosmos spreads within the domestic dimension by closing a window. The universe is a grim, cosmic sway, in which hostile planets of various, limitless worlds fiercely transform themselves—endlessly. (More)

Debora Vrizzi’s Submergency brings the audience into a domestic room: we feel as if we were underwater into a swimming pool, in permanent apnea —say, this video shows how our daily routine turns into a trap. (More)

Elena Bellantoni is, on the contrary, able to get rid of her constraining space: her cartoon The Fugitive perfectly represents the famous escape of a DDR (the German Democratic Republic 1949-90) citizen stopped by the “vopos”. (More)

In Eva Fontana’s Afterglow, shadows symbolize a frozen life and its outline. (More)

Elisabetta Di Sopra, curator of the exhibition, represents the interior of a house which slowly gets deprived of every single thing in it, including its mistress. Both the house and the human body in Temporary get lost-in-time, naked, they fall into oblivion. (More)

In the outstanding “La morte di Marat” (Marat’s Death), Manuel Fanni Canelles remarkably gives life to the French subverter portrayed by Jacques-Louis David. (More)

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of video art, Francesca Fini stages a woman immerse in a white space, sitting in front of a TV incessantly buzzing. All of a sudden, she sees something coming out of the screen: a thread of red wool … (More)

Amazing is Matilde De Feo’s “25 di dicembre” (December 25th): the artist represents, with a merciless look, a Christmas dinner where the table becomes the scene of a sort of never-ending family ceremony that rises the nonsense about a binge that ends in itself. (More)

In After Big Bang Before Big Crunch, by Osvaldo Cibilis, the Sofa –as already seen in Andy Warhol’s works, is the real protagonist, be it a little kingdom where grown up people play naïve games. (More)

Beatrice Pucci’s animated video, Imago, is a disquieting performance of a moth’s metamorphosis whose destiny is to be the sacrifice on the altar of domestic categorization. (More)

Paolo Bandinu brings us to a landscape without history, a nowhere-land where Presence is realistic but, at the same time, evanescent. Bandinu’s “Nascosti dalle apparenze” (Hidden by Appearances) shows his graphic talent of turning a film into a painting. (More)

In “Piera e gli assassini” (Piera and the Assassins), a video freely influenced by the book by Dacia Maraini and Piera Degli Esposti, Antonello Matarazzo presents a thriller. Piera Degli Esposti, actress, plays herself staging ordinary life subverted by the disturbing eye of the Director, as he let us go beyond reality and fantasy through framing and soundtrack. (More)

In DOMESTIC VISIONS my great effort was to outline a multi-perspective view, aiming at promoting the complexity, the spontaneity, and the immediateness of a such various group of artists, whose work is sometimes in complementary relation to other artistic forms. I do hope, with all my heart, that this might be a little step in order to finally acknowledge video art as a self- supporting—autonomous—language; say, the new expression of a fully technological and refined form of art for the third millennium.

Text by Domestic Visions curator Elisabetta Di Sopra. English version by Dott.ssa Elena Ceccato

Image from “Afterglow” by Eva Fontana