Monday, November 30, 2009

Live Sonification of 'Aelita' by Gamers In Exile | Palazzo Delle Esposizioni | 29 November 2009

Guido Zen and Valerio Camporini Faggioni aka Gamers in Exile, the critically acclaimed Italian electronic soundscapers, were in Rome on Sunday at the Palazzo Delle Esposizioni for a very special event – the Live Sonification of the 1924 Russian silent film Aelita: Queen of Mars.

The duo are no strangers to film soundtracks - last year they scored Biùtiful cauntri, an Italian documentary about illegal toxic waste dumping in Southern Italy, which against all odds, enjoyed both critical success and even a brief run in cinemas both home and abroad – but here, in creating the only sounds for a silent movie, they had constructed an entirely new sonic world for Yakov Protazanov's socialist science-fiction block buster!

The music - at times a hypnotically mechanical mash-up of found sounds, at others a haunting and lyrical expression of a character's mood - was always beautifully sympathetic to the images on screen. And what a film! Its incredible Martian sets are perfect example of Russian Constructivism and its impact on later Sci-Fi films of the 1930s and beyond was clear. Whilst its influence on Flash Gordon and Metropolis is often cited, the Martian soldiers didn't look so very different from Star Wars storm troopers to me!

The film was shown as part of a short season of films about space travel – Spaziale! - which coincides with the exhibition Stars and Particles. The Voice of the Universe

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stories by Matteo Peretti at Emmeotto Gallery on Via Margutta

I have to admit that whenever I wander down Via Margutta and look at the private galleries it isn't often that I'm wildly impressed by anything I see there. All that changed the other day, however, when I happened upon Emmeotto and a show dedicated to the young Roman artist Matteo Peretti. I only intended staying long enough to kill time before a lunch appointment at my favourite vegetarian restaurant Il Margutta which is just up the road, but was so impressed I ended up being late for lunch and going back later for a second look!

Stories is a substantial exhibition which gathers together forty pieces of work, many of which are constructed from a jumble of assembled old toys and found objects – Toy Story would have fit equally well as a title for this show - with pieces ranging from free standing sculptures to bas-relief monochrome collages. Whilst there's something undeniably eclectic about the work - think Duchamp's readymades meets Jeff Koons – Peretti's takes his own very personal brand of pop art into the 21st century by putting an ironic spin on the genre with contemporary political and social references. Whilst some of the portraits might be a little obvious - the first piece on show, for example, is entitled George W, and is a grinning moss-covered chimpanzee head, whilst Barack is represented as a tiny man propping up a large globe – there are others such as Cinque, a monochrome Yves Klein blue surface teeming with melted and reassembled toys, tanks and guns, which are simply beautiful.

Anybody who has lived in this country or seen any TV in Italy will enjoy the humour in the hollowed out television carcasses such as Synthetic Brain - Ferrari crammed full of Barbie dolls and other figures like a chaotic Italian nativity scene or presepe. My favourite piece in the entire show, however, was Snoopy – a strangely haunting assemblage of toys with the recognisable Peanuts character in its midst. Ash grey in colour and with a matte almost dusty finish, it reminded me in some strange way of the figures at Pompeii.

As somebody who collects vintage action figures I often needed to put my feelings aside as I spotted Spider-Man and other more or less recognisable heroes in the mix and kept reminding myself that they had been sacrificed for a higher purpose! Highly recommended!

Stories by Matteo Peretti is curated by Martina Cavallarin and continues at Emmeotto until 21 November 2009

EMMEOTTO - Via Margutta, 8 - 00187 Roma

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...