I am really looking forward to the 2011 edition of Lo Schermo dell’Arte, the art film part of the 50 giorni di cinema internazionale, a series of thematic film festivals that take place each Fall in Florence, Italy. Of course the art films are my favourite. Last year we perched at the edge of our seats watching Waste Land (I wrote about it here). This time I am really looking forward to artist Sarah Morris’s portrait of Chicago by day and night, since I am quite sure her experience of that city will be very different than what I observed from the windows of my high rise for the three and a half years of grad school residence.
The portrait of Anselm Keifer, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, by Sophie Fiennes, looks mildly depressing but interesting.
I’ll be getting an all-film pass for November 19-Dec 13… and you?
Florence, November 19 – December 3, 2011
British artist SARAH MORRIS will be the protagonist of the festival’s opening evening, on Monday, November 21, at the Cinema Odeon in Florence, with the Italian premiere of two of her recent films: Chicago (2011) and Points on a Line (2010).
Israeli artist OMER FAST will present his video-installation TALK SHOW on Saturday, November 19, at Cango-Cantieri Goldonetta (Florence).
The Fourth Edition of LO SCHERMO DELL’ARTE FILM FESTIVAL will be held in Florence from November 19th to December 3rd. Directed by Silvia Lucchesi, the Festival features films and videos in which contemporary arts are the subject. As in previous editions, the Festival is divided into three sections: Sguardi (Glimpses), Cinema d’Artista and Festival Talks. This year, a new section has been added: Mobiles, a new exhibition program which will present, in various locations other than the cinema, single works by international artists; pieces linked with moving images and new media. “Mobiles” takes its title from the sculptures of Alexander Calder, and, like these, it is a mobile, light project, adaptable to different needs.
In this year’s particularly rich Cinema d’Artista program, Sarah Morris, best-known for her documentary films and her broad, square canvases covered with colorful geometric designs (featured in her one-man show at MAMBO in Bologna, in 2009), will be the protagonist of Lo Schermo dell’Arte’s opening evening, with two Italian premieres: Chicago (2011), a picture-portrait of the American city from dawn to night; a look at the daily life of a great metropolis; such as Robert Towne creatd for Los Angeles and Beijing in his previous films. Next up is Points on a Line (USA 2010), devoted to two extraordinary pieces of 20th century architecture: Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House. Soundtracks by British artist Liam Gillick, who was the protagonist of the German Pavillion at the Venice Biennale in 2009, add texture to the two films’ extraordinary images. Sarah Morris has recently been selected, alongside other famous artists such as Tracey Emin, Bridget Riley and Howard Hodgkin, to create a symbolic poster for the London Olympics, in 2012.
Included in the Cinema d’Artista program is Armin Linke’s film Alpi (Alps) (Germany, 2011), the result of his seven-year research on contemporary perception of alpine landscapes, in which he filmed places and situations in the territories surrounding the mountain range.
Omer Fast is the guest of this year’s new Mobiles section, which he will inaugurate on the evening of November 19, at 6 p.m., with the presentation of his three-screen video installation TALK SHOW (2010, 65’, courtesy Arratia Beer Galerie, Berlin) at CANGO-Cantieri Goldonetta; the piece will be on view until Dec. 3. TALK SHOW is a live recording of the performance Omer Fast did in New York for Performa 2009. Set on a TV set in front of a live audience, a character tells a story based on his personal memories linked to events from global political news. The principal character, Lisa Ramaci, tells actress Rosie Perez her own personal
experience of the Iraq War. At the end of her story, Lisa leaves and Rosie re-tells what she’s just heard to a third character, who in turn repeats the story to yet another. The sequence in which seven different characters participate is therefore made up of six different narrations born from the first, by Lisa Ramaci: a non-written story which spontaneously transforms itself from an individual memory into a recitation personalized by various characters; a recitation which runs from intimate memoir to tragedy to comedy.
A protagonist of the most recent Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennial in New York, 2009, Omer Fast is considered one of the most important international video artists. His works are in major museums around the world, including the Tate Modern, MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Hamburger Bahnhof ,and the National Galerie in Berlin. Inauguration on Saturday November 19; the artist will be present.
Sarah Morris, Omer Fast and Armin Linke will be guests of the Festival and will give lectures within the Festival Talks program.
Among the not-to-be-missed documentaries featured in the Sguardi (Glimpses) section are the portraits of Swiss artist Urs Fischer (who was a protagonist of the last Venice Biennale), by Iwan Schumacher (Switzerland, 2010), and of the Danish couple Elmgreen & Dragset, in the film How Are You? by Jannik Splidsboel (Denmark, 2011), and the story of a piece by Anselm Kiefer, one of the most famous contemporary artists: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, by Sophie Fiennes (UK, France, Holland 2010), presented recently at the Cannes Festival. In addition, an interesting and up-to-date look at the art world in Russia: Oligarques, Art et Dollars: les Nouveaux Collectionneurs Russes, by Tania Rakhmanova (France, 2010).
Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival was created in Florence in 2008; it’s an original and unique project in Italy, directed by Silvia Lucchesi; among the very few in the world to deal specifically with the theme of the relationship between contemporary art and cinema. Since its First Edition, the Festival has been included in the series “50 giorni di Cinema Internazionale a Firenze” organized by FST, Mediateca Toscana Film Commission, with the support of Regione Toscana, Provincia e Comune di Firenze.
Lo schermo dell’Arte Film Festival – Fourth Edition
Odeon Firenze, Piazza Strozzi November 21 – 24, 2011 Talk Show by OMER FAST Cango-Cantieri Goldonetta, Florence, Via Santa Maria 23-25 November 19 – December 3, 2011