At Videocity, the immersive work by None Collective

At Videocity, the immersive work by None Collective

Giorgia Massari · 8 months ago · Art

With its 6th edition, Videocittà, the festival dedicated to vision and digital culture, is back. Conceived by Francesco Rutelli, with the direction of Francesco Dobrovich, Videocittà will animate – from 13 to 16 July – the largest industrial archaeological area in Europe, the Gazometro in Rome. The events on the programme are varied and heterogeneous: talks, musical events, collective exhibitions and site-specific works will address the theme of Transition, chosen this year as the topic of discussion. As every year, the festival will explore the most advanced forms of audiovisual and digital languages in the national and international cultural context.

Gazometro Ostiense, Roma – Ph Credits Ufficio Stampa GDG PRESS

Kicking off this year’s edition are two monumental audio-visual works, created especially for the location by two art collectives. The first is Mater Terrae signed by the Sila Sveta studio, which will project on the metal cylinder of the Gazometro a visionary digital vortex set in dialogue with the music of producer Mace. The second work, on the other hand – GIGA – is by None Collective, ready to enhance the Blast Furnace and act as an intangible backdrop to live performances and DJ sets by great artists such as the French duo The Blaze, house music pioneer Dixon, American Lyra Pramuk and Italian artists Bawrut, Ginevra Nervi, Bnkr44, Ginevra and Elasi.

For the occasion, we decided to meet with the three members of None Collective – Gregorio Comandini, Saverio Villirillo and Mauro Pace – to learn more about their experience at Videocittà and ask them a few questions about their artistic practice.

First of all, it is interesting for us to understand the relationship between video installation art and the various contexts in which it is placed. In your opinion, how does the perception of your works change within a festival compared to a more institutional context, such as a gallery?

In general, the return of our work is a fundamental moment in our research. Until you compare your ideas with people’s reactions, you never have a reference of your ‘inner world’ with the audience. Especially for audio-visual content such as ours, which, alien to these contexts, can only be enjoyed frontally and individually. Here, however, as at Videocittà, they acquire a decisive frame. The spectator finds himself immersed in a mass of bodies with a multidimensional perception of space, which also includes the chosen sounds and lights. Compared to gallery or other exhibition spaces, the festival undoubtedly holds the wow, or surprise, effect. Visitors are often attracted by music or other attractions and therefore do not expect to see our works. The fact that it is not a replicable experience or one that can be visited over an extended period of time also makes these contexts the perfect content for unique, ephemeral, ‘here and now’ experiences.

Do the works you devised for Videocity – the video installation GIGA and the performance Against Nature – speak of something in particular or do they have a purely aesthetic function?

Without a doubt, our works want to communicate a message. The fact that they are played on a loop during the various evenings allows the viewer to see them several times and thus assimilate the content, noticing the most hidden details. Apart from the initial effect, which can be one of amazement, our works are extremely critical and reflective. They can also be considered disturbing. Our performance is certainly disturbing. The installation GIGA makes this term most explicit. It shows a catastrophic future, with the industrial ruins of a decaying civilisation. The Earth is invaded by unknown organisms, marvellous creatures, beings too big to be understood. They are giants, hence the title GIGA.

Looking at your works, it becomes clear how important the context in which they are placed is for you, but, above all, the setting, the exhibition route and the scenic aspect stand out. Do you consider these factors as an integral part of the work or can they be easily separated from it?

Space is crucial for us. We design the installations for that space specifically. For example, the light does not only come from the video but we use a lot of light sources. The conditions and events that are created within a space, which is experienced by the viewer from different points of view, such as lying down, create an alteration of the space, both visually and sonically. The fact that we use different media and approach our research in a transdisciplinary way is the defining feature of our work and thus of our restitution. It is experience that is placed at the centre of our practice. We do not merely create files to be placed on a screen, but the work is a true organism, made up of different elements that are dynamically interwoven. In this way we maintain focus, playing with perceptual boundaries. For example, we very often use the element of darkness alongside flashes, strobe effects or otherwise dazzling, creating an emotional swing in the viewer that increases the perception of the events we want to convey.

But now, we would like to know more about your journey. Where did the name of your collective come from? Why did you feel the need to work together?

In general, when doing installations, it is almost necessary to come together as a group. We got to know each other while working and, finding it immediately comfortable, we pursued a single-minded search. Our name actually stems from many reasons. The most didactic and immediate one is the fact that “none” is the default wording that always appears in all the drop-down menus of all software. While the one we like to tell you the most is related to our attachment to Greco-Roman culture, in particular to the mythological sphere. In fact, we refer to the story of Polyphemus when, finding himself blinded, he asks “who was it?” and is answered “nobody”, which is precisely the Italian translation of “none”. We like this as an oxymoron: we are a collective made up of many people and nobody.

Here is a preview of None Collective’s works featured during Videocittà.

Find out more on the website or on Instagram.

At Videocity, the immersive work by None Collective
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At Videocity, the immersive work by None Collective
At Videocity, the immersive work by None Collective
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Has food truly conquered us?

Has food truly conquered us?

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

Over the past year, the internet seems to be obsessed with food culture, fueling a trend that is now evident even in the world of visual culture. From the Tomato Girl Summer, which many mock retrospectively, to the foodie fashion girlies, Balenciaga’s collaboration with Erewhon, and the massive success of The Bear. Food appears to be experiencing a rebirth, but in the worlds of art, photography, and design, it has always been present. Is this just a passing trend, or is it the glorification of an element that has always been part of our lives?

Un’illustrazione di Maisy Summer

From Tomato Girl Summer to the pomegranate

It was only in 2020, with lockdown recipes—does anyone remember Dalgona Coffe?—that so much talk about food emerged. On TikTok, @wishbonekitchen made us dream by showing us her life as a private chef in the Hamptons this summer. Unforgettable were her Heirloom Tomato Gallette and the garden where she harvested fruits, vegetables, and herbs. In 2023, it seems to have been the summer of food not only with the release of the second season of The Bear but also with Tomato Girl Summer. On the other hand, according to Danielle Cohen on The Cut, it now seems to be the time of the pomegranate.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Cansu Porsuk Rossi (@cansupo)

Thanks to its shape and the vivid red that characterizes it, this fruit is widely recognized as a symbol of fertility in many parts of the world. But not only that, we find the pomegranate in mythology, art history, and, according to Cohen, even in the Torah. In short, fruits and vegetables seem to be largely protagonists of this rebirth, so we have collected some works and photographs by artists and photographers we have talked about in the past and more.

Browsing through our archives, we remembered Michael Crichton‘s photos and his photographic series, Conceptual Food, as well as Dan Bannino, who many years ago narrated the eating habits of the powerful. But there is also Stephanie Sarley, an artist who, with fruit fingering, challenged the way the art world has represented the female reproductive organ throughout its history.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Stephanie Sarley (@stephanie_sarley)

Why it seems not to be just a passing trend

The success of food in visual culture can be attributed to its tangible communicative power. We see and experience the colors and textures of food daily, all evocative elements of memories that we have been collecting forever. In conclusion, we can only wonder which will be the next fruit to receive all this attention, already dedicated to tomatoes and pomegranates, even before avocados and bananas.

Has food truly conquered us?
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Has food truly conquered us?
Has food truly conquered us?
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Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

29 ARTS IN PROGRESS recently showcased Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion, a photographic exhibition dedicated to the Franco-Algerian photographer, marking his first solo exhibition in Milan. Starting from January 16, the second chapter of this exhibition opens, featuring unconventional shots infused with a street and urban soul. Additionally, there are elements of irony and sensuality that highlight Haddi’s complex personality.

michel haddi
© Michel Haddi – Debbie Harry, British Vogue, London, 1994 | Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery

In this second chapter, nude shots and unpublished works by Michel Haddi are presented, stemming from advertising campaigns he personally captured. The displayed photographs capture the spirit of their time, thanks to influential figures such as John Galliano or Patsy Kensit, who have played pivotal roles in the realms of fashion, cinema, and music.

Michel Haddi has the ability to portray his subjects with both irony and depth, and each of his shots tells a unique story. His life, marked by a turbulent start, has nevertheless propelled him to become one of the leading fashion photographers from the 1990s to the present day.

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
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Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
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Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Collater.al Contributors · 1 month ago · Photography

A few weeks ago, the Huxley-Parlour gallery in London announced the new exhibition by Joel Meyerowitz, which opened on January 17th. We couldn’t help but talk about him, the American photographer born in New York in 1938, famous for his street photography, and recognized as one of the pioneers of color photography. The London exhibition, titled “Dialogues,” highlights this aspect effectively. Pairs of photographs engage in a dialogue concerning light, color, and composition. The pairings are chosen to investigate the development of color in the artist’s work, set within non-hierarchical and unresolved compositions.

The exhibition in London

Meyerowitz’s imagery blends a distinctly American aesthetic with a meditative approach to color. Spanning from 1964 to 2011, the exhibition at Huxley-Parlour reveals Meyerowitz’s enduring interest in the sensory and evocative experiences of his surroundings. Paired with lesser-known images from the artist’s extensive archive, the exhibition features some of Meyerowitz’s most famous works, including his early street photography and images from his seminal series, Cape Light.

Joel Meyerowitz and the Color Revolution

Joel Meyerowitz is widely acknowledged as one of the first photographers, along with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, to bring color photography from the periphery to the center of fine art photography. Historically, where black and white photography was considered a serious medium, color was widely viewed as technically inferior and aesthetically limited, relegated to advertising campaigns, television, and personal holiday photographs. In the London exhibition, it’s interesting to trace Meyerowitz’s shift from black and white to color. On display are works from “A Question of Color,” where Meyerowitz, carrying two cameras, paired black-and-white and color prints of nearly identical scenes.

Courtesy Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
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Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
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A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

Not even a week ago, Alessia Glaviano – Head of Global PhotoVogue – a guest on our Spigola podcast, reminded us that it no longer matters whether you shoot with a camera or a smartphone. What matters is the intention behind the shot, not the means. We pondered deeply on this statement, and although there was initially some skepticism, we concluded that to take a true stance on the matter, we had to try it ourselves: capturing moments solely with a smartphone, but with the same attitude we would have had with a professional camera. Xiaomi provided us with the opportunity and the means.

Almost by chance, Xiaomi presented us with a challenge: to visit a distant place and attempt to capture its uniqueness using the brand-new Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G. And so began our journey, short but very intense, in Bangkok.

All the promises of this new device – which, along with four others, forms the new Redmi Note 13 Series, further enriching the brand’s Redmi Note lineup – were substantial. Starting from the battery, rechargeable to 100% in just 19 minutes with a lasting capacity of days (not hours), and of course, the camera system consisting of 3 cameras, including a main 200 MP camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera, and a macro camera.

We decided to put Xiaomi to the test in every moment spent in the Thai capital. The first stop was at the Royal Palace and the Wat Pho temple, where the goal was to capture the colors of the mosaics and decorations.

Xiaomi

Being one of the most touristy places in the city, we encountered many people who, like us, were fascinated by the architecture of these sacred places. The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G came to our aid in this moment as well. The smartphone is equipped with AI-based editing tools that, among other things, allow us to remove people who accidentally end up in our shots. You know those photos you see on Instagram of tourist spots always empty? Now you can have them too, effortlessly!

But a city is not only visited during the day; often, it comes to life at night, illuminated by a myriad of different lights. In our case, the lights were those of the legendary tuk-tuks, indispensable in a trip to Bangkok. In this case, the challenge was formidable: darkness, colored lights, movement. All the ingredients for a challenging shot were present.

Xiaomi

Not content with just the shot, we continued to play with AI tools and added a bit more movement, some stars, many stars.

When traveling, we know very well that we are not only captivated by architecture, landscape, and glimpses, but we also focus on the faces we encounter on the streets. However, we often don’t have much time to photograph them, sometimes because they move, other times because we are the ones on the move. That’s exactly what happened to us in the characteristic Thai markets, first and foremost the Floating Market.

Reviewing the photos on the return flight and at home with friends was like reliving the journey once again, leaving no detail behind.

Xiaomi

In Bangkok, on the occasion of the launch of the new Redmi Note 13 Series, the brand also introduced the brand-new Redmi Watch 4 and Redmi Buds 5 Pro. Visit Xiaomi’s website to discover all the features of these devices.

Xiaomi

Photos shot on Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
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A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
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