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A Sign of Prosperity to the Dreamer

by Janis Rafa
2014, 24′
Presented at VISIO – European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images – 4th edition
SCREENPLAY: 15’52” e 24’54”
Photograpy: Thodoros Mihopoulos GSC
Sound: Aris Athanasopoulos
Courtesy the artist and Martin van Zomeren
Supported by: Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten
In A Sign of Prosperity to the Dreamer, the artist explores with stark realism the symbolic value and potential of lifeless animal bodies. However, Rafa rejects any macabre or fetishist element, seeking instead an aesthetic of the image that induces a tragic and at once surreal and meditative perception of the scene. The ascending movement of birds, emphasized by careful editing and slowmotion shooting techniques, suggests new balances and reflections on the transience of life and the tragedy of death. In the shape and symbolism of bird bodies we find clear references to painting, and the work could be seen as a contemporary still life.
Janis Rafa (b. 1984, Athens) works primarily with the language of film through feature films, video-essays and video-installations. Her works are often imbued with elements of magical realism and explore the symbolic potential of the relationship between humans and other species, reflecting on universal themes such as mortality, coexistence and ecological consciousness.