MASBEDO at Manifesta 12 Palermo

In Between Art Film

June 16–November 4, 2018
June 15, 2018
Videomobile: June 15–November 4
Palazzo Costantino via Maqueda 215 Palermo Italy
Protocollo nr. 90/6: June 15–19
Archivio di Stato, I° Cortile Gancia

Palazzo Costantino
via Maqueda 215

In Between Art Film is pleased to announce the participation of MASBEDO at Manifesta 12 Palermo, The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence.

From June 16 to November 4, 2018, in the stunning courtyard of Palazzo Costantino—one of the main venues in the very center of the town re-discovered and re-opened in this occasion by the nomadic Biennial—the artistic duo composed by Nicolò Massazza and Iacopo Bedogni is presenting Videomobile, their new multi-channel video installation commissioned by Manifesta12 and produced by Beatrice Bulgari for In Between Art Film.

Following the curatorial statement of Manifesta 12, Videomobile has been conceived and completely shot in Palermo, involving local citizens, prominent figures and iconic places in the cultural and civil life and history of the city, drawing a multifaceted portrait of the town.

MASBEDO transformed an old OM van of the 1970s into a “video wagon” to visit places of the cinema of the past, to investigate Sicilian society and the history of the Palermo area: a moving studio, a laboratory and stage for performances, some of which will be realized live during the Biennale. The project “physically” runs through and crosses memory, specifically the memory that emerges from investigative cinema.

Before the opening of Manifesta, Videomobile hosted several performances on the open theme of cinema in Palermo. When on show, Videomobile is a modular and accessible video installation, with cameras, monitors, screens, lights, sound system, etc., allowing film production and video projections: a narrative device, a multi-channel documentary work, whose content is essentially a conceptual and social reinterpretation of still topical cinema themes.

MASBEDO have elaborated images that reveal the dynamics of power and the socio-cultural changes hidden in Palermo’s present, paying particular attention to themes such as the sense of belonging or genius loci and faith in utopias. The first phase of their research started interviewing characters who have worked in cinema in an almost anonymous or marginal form, with secondary characters, such as make-up artists, extras or technicians. A second phase replaced the latter with better known and important figures such as directors, intellectuals, producers or politicians. A third and last phase included some of these figures in the realization of performances produced with the Videomobile in the streets and squares of Palermo where cinema was and still is a protagonist. Videomobile is an ongoing project, a sort of performative tour, a journey through the world of images of Vittorio De Seta, Gianfranco Mingozzi, Michelangelo Antonioni, Ugo Gregoretti, Mario Baffico, Francesco Rosi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Letizia Battaglia, Mimmo Cuticchio and many other directors, authors and artists who have succeeded in creating other worlds in the city of Palermo.

During the first week of Manifesta—from June 15 to 19—as spin-off of Videomobile, MASBEDO are presenting Protocol no. 90/6, a site-specific video installation especially conceived for Sala delle Capriate inside the Archivio di Stato di Palermo (State Archives of Palermo).

A Sicilian puppet—a hand-made sculptural object animated by Mimmo Cuticchio, made specifically for this video installation by his family—moves on a video stage, placed high up rather like an icon, behind a suspended curtain of cables and LED lights in the middle of the central room of the State Archives. The installation set up in this abandoned historical palazzo is inspired by the vicissitudes of the film director Vittorio De Seta. Several times, during his professional career, De Seta was subjected to the control of the authorities. His art, so close to the world of the humblest workers, fishermen, farmers and miners, was suspected of concealing a hidden agenda in favor of “communist” subversive societies. During the period of work undertake in the State Archives of Palermo, and thanks to the unique experience of the staff working there, MASBEDO discovered the existence of a very unusual folder: dated 1956, it contains numerous dossiers and reports concerning artists, directors, writers and journalists. The document, which immediately attracted their attention, was compiled by the Carabinieri of Petralia Sottana, a small town in the Parco delle Madonie. This dossier became the symbol of the meaning of their video installation, displayed at the entrance to the Sala delle Capriate, a place of absolute mystery and silence dedicated to the preservation of a non-organizable memory, an archive arranged in accordance with the non-rules of time and chance. Thousands and thousands of un-catalogued documents that time has transformed into stratified matter, paper fossils, dust and faded ink.

MASBEDO are Nicolò Massazza (1973) and Iacopo Bedogni (1970).

They live in Milan and work together since 1999, focusing on video art and installations. They express themselves through the language of video, in different forms such as performance, theater, installation, photography and recently cinema. In Italy they are recognized among the most important video artists and innovators in the field of contemporary art, thanks to their unique feature of re-union of different arts and the multiplicity of languages in a single chorus.

In Between Art Film is a production company founded in 2012 by Beatrice Bulgari to produce films and documentaries based on an interdisciplinary approach and exchange between the different artistic languages of our time.