This competition is an opportunity to encourage artistic production in video art and offers a spotlight to experimentations in the audiovisual field that make use of new media and technologies as creative opportunities. The VAA aims at identifying exciting and innovative artworks produced by emerging artists in Italy and South Africa.
The participants’ artworks are parts of two selections, Italian and South African. The jury appoints 5 finalists per country and, between them nominates the 2 winners. The goal is building a bridge between the two countries. The prizes consist in a trip to participate to the awards ceremony in Italy or in South Africa.
“There are a certain amount of ordinary moments in life that are considered neither here or there, […] that are simultaneously physical and mental, such as the space of a phone call or the moment when you see yourself in the mirror.” (Michel Foucault) These spaces of alteration are endless, arranged around time-framed dimensions crossed by them, with or without our consideration. These series of movements have the particular characteristic of being connected to all the other spaces, but in a way as to suspend, neutralise or invert the set of relations that they themselves indicate, reflect or mirror. Our conception of space shapes our perception of time, and, on an individual scale, defines our way of perceiving movement.
Acting as a prelude to a subjective perception of a suspension in time, White Time is a video installation where a simple figure stands in an undefined spatial location.
Jabu Nadia Newman
The title Untitled: Friends alludes to the complexity of chosen relationships, specifically how deeply bound two souls who share no family relation can be: a strong connection that no title or description can truly articulate.
Like most of Newman’s body of work, the film specifically focuses on femme binary identity and relationships. The storyline is intentionally centred around femme friendships and simultaneously challenges and celebrates them against a backdrop of a mundane heteronormative neighbourhood, where these layered and complex identities are prosecuted and undervalued.
Untitled: Friends was shot, written, directed and edited by Newman over a period of two years and read like a personal visual diary, in which she invites us into her childhood and teenage years in Plumstead.
Timepulse is a reflection on the difficulty of living in the present moment before it becomes a memory, a reflection on the fear of the inexorable journey of time. The work consists of three parts: the flow of memories, the struggle with time, the present in progress.
Apotropia is an artistic duo featuring Antonella Mignone e Cristiano Panepuccia.
Timepulse is one of the chapters of DROP, a work where the focus is on the body as a tool to perceive and control the material world. The body as an emblem of finite matter, inextricably connected to the spirit as a gate towards infinity. Drop’s underlying layers are inspired by autobiographical facts. A serious road accident confines a dancer to a period of enforced immobility. The interruption of her life plan forces her to look deeper inside herself.
While living in Zimbabwe, I learnt that the stigma, silence and taboos attached to menstruation force young women out of school. This is highlighted in a 2014 survey conducted by the Ministry of Women and Youth Affairs, stating that this phenomenon has huge proportions.
Backup my Memories
Back up my memories is a reflection on the disturbing perspectives offered by cryopreservation. Is it possible to crystallise the brain? Can memories be frozen before death to be thawed in the future?
Back up my memories was conceived by Selene Citron and Luca Lunardi, and tells of the fear of losing memory and therefore of dying. Recovering memories means aspiring to immortality.
In a dystopian future where a complete fusion between man and machine will take place, the fear of losing memories will become the fear of losing data. At the same time, the video imagines a future in which the massive digitalisation and quantification of data has made information-overloaded by starting a crystallisation process. Detaching from the data structure that keeps us alive could mean having to accept death.
What does it mean to render and to be rendered? What does it mean to be literally painted in a certain light? What does it mean to leave traces of your identity behind? In Drawing with Light, the artist experiments with interactive light projection. In a small, dark artistic laboratory, light traces over the contours of people passing through.
Those being traced over cannot see the tracings fully – they are only visible to others in the room. Mental models we build of identities, including our own identity, are limited. They are mere records of a certain version of self, which will never keep up with the living, breathing, changing person.
These constructed and reconstructed records pose questions about permanence. What remains? From moments fleeting past to the versions of self-represented to the light itself dancing across moving faces – things appear impermanent. Often, it seems, there are only traces – partial legacies. Those too may cease to exist.
Daniele Alef Grillo
Passengers is inspired by Marc Augé ‘non- places theory’, and through images, it portrays the settlement of human beings in nature, the relationship between us and the contemporary technological landscape, and how technologies change our relationship with the environment.
The story was created by mounting heterogeneous material.
Sounds and images come from the artist’s personal archive, from the web (in the public domain), or have been created to achieve narrative continuity.
Passengers reflect on “our” being passengers: in life first of all, at the same time actors and spectators. It forces the observer to question his own role: video-game machine driver or passive video-screen viewer?
Core Dump explores the place of screens in global and localized politics and history, looking specifically at the contradiction between Silicon Valley’s techno-utopianism and its extractive and exploitative relationship to Africa.
The project comprises of a series of performances, projection-mapping video installations, and interviews that draw from audiovisual archives, early African cinema (specifically the films of Ousmane Sembene) and the daily life of the cities of Dakar. In contrast to the spectacle of technological singularity and the Western myth of progress, Core Dump considers the connections, disruptions and contradictions inherent in these ideas, through conflicting designations of value and waste.
Je Ne Veux Pas Mourir
The tragedy of our time is viewed by those who should learn to live tomorrow.
Je ne veux pas mourir, (I don’t want to die) is a short film that contends with reality.
Massimo Loi and Gianluca Mangiasciutti together direct a movie that reconfirms the deep bond between authorial cinema and visual art, proposing a performative act of great creative force in an exquisitely cinematic key.
Refined and masterfully crafted, Je ne veux pas mourir bravely faces one of the most dramatic and complex issues of our times, emphasizing the giant maze of personal feelings, social tragedies and economic policies that have always characterized different historical eras. This short film has won numerous accolades and is distributed by Zen Movie.
The essay film explores performative gestures within an architectural environment and diverse vernacular actions produced by the users of the space. Thematics of oral history, narration, poetics of the body, public space are approached by using different information apparatuses. The audience enters a non-linear narrative through the gaze of two Artists and Co-founders of the Bag Factory Artists Studios, David Koloane and Patrick Kagiso Mautloa and former Bag Factory Artist’s Studios Director Thuli Mlambo James. Bag Factory Artist’s Studios is an independent non-profit organization providing interactive studio space for practising visual artists. Since its inception in 1991, the Studios are located in an old bag manufacturing warehouse on the border of the vibrant suburbs of Fordsburg and New Town in Johannesburg and over more than two decades has grown to be synonymous with inclusion and diversity.