A series of art films and documentaries dedicated to contemporary art and its protagonists. The films in this year’s program tell of projects and works by artists who make interaction with public spaces a central theme of their artistic practice. The political and social implications of their actions, the dialogue with the urban space and the landscape, and the complex interactions with a large and diverse audience are all factors which these artists have chosen to confront, subverting schemes of all-too-often over-self-referential artistic institutional contexts.
The program is curated by Leonardo Bigazzi
The project is realized within the Estate Fiorentina 2015 organized by Comune di Firenze. In collaboration with FST-Mediateca Toscana Film Commission, and thanks to the contribution of ottod’Ame.
Dan Deacon performs at the Oakland Happening in Station to Station.
[tab title=”INFORMATION”] NOTTI DI MEZZA ESTATE
Piazza Santissima Annunziata, Florence
June 29, July 6, 13 and 20 2015
All films are shown in original language, with subtitles in Italian
[mini-icon icon=”time”] Monday June 29, 9.30 pm
Banksy Does New York
by Chris Moukarbel, USA, 2014, 80’
In October 2013, famous street artist Banksy created a residential project that involved producing a work a day on the streets of New York. With graffiti, sculptures, performances and spectacular actions, Banksy’s public art project involved thousands of people, and generated an extensive “treasure hunt” in the city, before many of the works were destroyed or removed to be sold without authorization. Chris Moukarbel followed the artist’s interventions, from the Lower East Side to Staten Island, from Williamsburg to Willets Point, and recorded the audience’s reactions, interviewing and listening to the views of ordinary people and those who in various ways are involved in the social and cultural life of the city. Banksy’s project is a collective invitation to take part in a shared experience, and at the same time to open a fierce critique of the capitalist system and the hypocrisy of the contemporary art world.
[mini-icon icon=”time”] Monday July 6, 9.30 pm
De larges détails. Sur les traces de Francis Alys
by Julien Devaux, French/Belgium, 2006, 55’
A striking portrait of Franco-Belgian Francis Alÿs, who currently lives and works in Mexico City. An artist and cosmopolitan flaneur in various disciplines, a tireless wanderer and crosser of spaces, he uses a wide variety of materials and ideas in his work. Through the eye of the camera, we follow him in the throes of action, video, installations and urban interventions from Mexico City to London, from Lima to Berlin. Collectors, friends, employees try to tell us who he is. In the awareness of “being nothing and not wanting to become anything,” his art, suspended between restlessness and weight, is a constant challenge to the banality and conformity of the eye, an attempt to reveal the importance of the details of life that build a sense of self. Julien Devaux, following the wandering artist’s trail, outlines a journey to discover places and people. This course becomes a metaphor of what producing art means to Francis Alÿs: to explore boundaries, seize events and happenings, make it possible for the process of ideas and thoughts behind the work to become active, and trigger something in the world by showing yourself to others.
[mini-icon icon=”time”] Monday July 13, 9.30 pm
The films will be presented by the director, Francesco Fei, along with Sergio Risaliti and Arabella Natalini, curators of the shows by Gormley and Penone at Forte Belvedere
by Francesco Fei, Italy, 2014, 20’
Produced for Giuseppe Penone’s solo exhibition at Fort Belvedere and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, the film follows the artist during its installation, and offers insight about his work and the complex operations required to stage the show. Originated from the artist’s continuous reflection on the concept of sculpture, and his deep understanding of memory and the identity of the places for which they’re intended, Penone’s works generate a dialogue with the space and with the nature of intimate relationships and corresponding materials. The film had its international premiere in March this year at the Festival International du Film sur l’Art (FIFA) in Montréal.
Antony Gormley and the 4th Plinth
by John Wyver, UK, 2009, 48’
Antony Gormley’s works are full of restlessness and poetry. His fragile Installation Field won him the Turner Prize in 1994; his Angel of The North, a monumental outdoor sculpture, is among the most popular in Britain. From his London studio, the artist presents the One & Other project which, in the summer of 2009, transformed Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth into a kind of magic pedestal. Prepared in 1841 to host an equestrian statue which was never made, the plinth has been used to house temporary sculptures since the end of the 1990s. The prestigious program has engaged important international artists such as Marc Quinn, Thomas Schütte, and Yinka Shonibare. Revisiting the tradition of Speaker’s Corner, Gormley created the most eclectic, diverse and democratic portrait of the UK ever. Over the web, he recruited over 2,400 volunteers from all over the country. For one hundred days, for one hour each, they all had the opportunity to turn themselves into living sculptures.
The film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition of Antony Gormley/Human, at Forte di Belvedere, sponsored by the city and organized by MUS.E.
[mini-icon icon=”time”] Monday July 20, 9.30 pm
ITALIAN PREMIERE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ARTIST
Station to Station
by Doug Aitken, USA, 2014, 71′
This first feature film by American artist Doug Aitken won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1999. The film follows a 4,000 mile journey, from New York to San Francisco, on a train designed as a “kinetic light sculpture”. 62 portraits, 1 minute each, recount the travel experience of a creative community, with happenings, impromptu concerts and site-specific interventions along the way. Friends and colleagues, including artists Lawrence Weiner, Olafur Eliasson, Urs Fischer, Christian Jankowski, Ed Ruscha; musicians No Age, Giorgio Moroder, Patti Smith, and Beck, to name a few. The film explores the infinite languages of contemporary creativity, and the very meaning of making art. Station to Station is a live project in continuous evolution that explores the various forms of creativity. From June 27 to July 26 the project will take the stage at the Barbican Centre in London, where happenings will happen for 30 consecutive days. The film Station to Station is distributed in Italy by Wanted and the art Screen Film Festival.