The reinvention of cinema in Turin between art, avant-garde and expanded cinema. Films by Massimo Bacigalupo, Tonino De Bernardi, Pia Epremian and Ugo Nespolo. The screening will also include a selection of pop influenced promotional films produced by the company Olivetti during this period.
Followed by discussion with Tonino De Bernardi
Dissolvimento / Dissolution
Pia Epremian, Italy 1970, 8mm transferred to video, colour, silent, 9 min
Featuring: Pia Epremian De Silvestris and Gigliola Carretti
Dissolvimento shows two women in domestic interiors who perform two different actions, edited one after the other. In the first, the painter Gigliola Carretti is engaged in an action with a series of sexually explicit props, making the activity resemble the brushing of teeth; in the second, the director herself is seen from behind, seated on a toilet. The film ends with the almost abstract view of cascades of the fountains of Turin.
60 metri per il 31 marzo / 60 meters for 31 March
Massimo Bacigalupo, Italy 1968, 16mm transferred to video, black and white, silent, 17 min
Shot and entirely edited in the camera on a single 60m/200ft roll of film on a spring day in 1968. The film is divided into six parts that follow the structure of the scared Hindu text, The Katha Upanishad in which the youth Nakiketa converses with death. Each episode describes an event, in reference to literary and artistic sources. Whether the references are more or less familiar, the film can be seen as a refined poetic-visual meditation pervaded by erudite literary (Ezra Pound, John Donne) and artistic (Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio, Bosch, Beardsley and Kandinsky) references, as well as links to experimental cinema (Stan Brakhage).
Olivetti promotional films
Valentine – Flipper 1969, colour, 1 min
Woman in Space 1969/1970, colour, 1 min
Swinging London 1969/1970, colour, 1 min
Lovers 1969/1970, black and white, 1 min
Girls 1969/1970, black and white, 1 min
Halfway through the 1960s Olivetti, a leader in the production of typewriters and adding machines, produced the first personal computer. The company’s innovation was reflected in various aspects, from a focus on the quality of life for workers to the involvement of outstanding intellectuals and designers in the construction of their corporate image. When the ‘Valentine’ model, an absolutely ‘pop’ object designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. in 1969, was launched on markets around the world, the advertising spots seeking to establish a dialogue with the revolution of fashion and lifestyle could not help but come from the pop art tradition.
Il mostro verde
Tonino De Bernardi, Italy 1967, 16mm transferred to video, colour, sound, 2 screens, 24 min
Sculptures by Marisa Merz
Featuring: Pia Epremian De Silvestris, Taylor Mead, Tonino De Bernardi, Angela Rolando, Mariella Navale, Paolo Menzio, Mario Rolando, Paola Bonfante, Misetta Quaini, Mara Di Fabio, Adriano Spatola, Maurizio Spatola.
Defined by De Bernardi as a ‘film of friendship and enthusiasm,’ Il mostro verde is a visionary, playful work for two screens, influenced by American beat culture and that of the Italian neo-avant-garde. The film begins on the right screen, showing a couple fleeing in a meadow. When the left projection begins, the shots are details of the floor, entrails, industrial materials, fabric, twisted metal (details from the sculptures by the artist Marisa Merz), manipulated by the green hands of the presumed ‘monster’ of the title. Citing as inspiration Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dracula by Bram Stoker, the writings of William Burroughs, the poetry of Allen Ginsberg, the films of Andy Warhol and Jack Smith, it represents a striking contrast to the stereotype of the austere, engaged scene of arte povera in Turin.
La favolosa storia: Il bestiario
Tonino De Bernardi, Italy 1968, 8mm transferred to video, colour, sound, 27 min
Il bestiario is part of La favolosa storia, a threepart film also composed of Il vaso etrusco and Il sogno di Costantino (projected on three screens). It is composed of four partially overlapping screens that form a crooked cross. Il bestiario presents continuous overlays of faces and colours as in a kaleidoscope, pointing to an interest in performance, cross-dressing, and the combination of representations of gender identities in general. As in De Bernardi’s Il mostro verde, the multiplication of screens does not belong to an attitude of research to explore the structure and apparatus of cinema, but rather an attempt to expand the physiological limits of sight to represent the radical changes in progress, the explosion of subjectivities, the mobility of the vantage point and the deflagration of shadings between reality and representation.
After this last screening of the series If Arte Povera Was Pop, please join us for the UK premiere of the film Morire Gratis by Sandro Franchina at ICA. On the 26 October 2015, The Italian Cultural Institute will host The sun in the Shadow. The other Rome of Franco Angeli, Sandro Franchina e Mario Schifano, a conversation between Flavia Frigeri (Curator, Tate Modern, co-curator World goes Pop), Andrea Lissoni (Senior Curator, International Art (Film),Tate Modern), Robert Lumley, (Professor of Italian Cultural History, UCL), Sergio Toffetti (Director Archivio Nazionale Cinema d’Impresa - CSC). Introduced by Marco Delogu (Director of The Italian Cultural Institute).