British Video Art

Curated by Martina Caruso

2–9 October 2019

Macro Asilo
Via Nizza 138, Roma

10.00–20.00 every day except Monday and 10.00–22.00 Saturday

Macro Asilo is hosting a week-long screening of video art by seven British artists who have held awards at the British School at Rome. A different video will be looped on a large screen in the main entrance of the museum during regular opening hours. This event is part of an ongoing collaboration between the BSR and the Macro, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome.

2 October: Oona Grimes, U. e. U., 2018, 9’28
Plundering a vignette from Pasolini’s Uccellacci e Uccellini, Franciscan friars, Totò and Ninetto preach the word of god to the hawks & sparrows. I cast myself in both leading roles looping fragments, stretching the commedia dell’arte element through repetition and abstraction.

3 October: Phoebe Boswell, The Words I Do Not Have Yet, 2016, 11’18
A salute to women in history who have used their bodies in protest when they haven’t been permitted to use their voices, this hand-drawn film reflects upon the collective strength and subversive potential of women standing together and using their voices in collaboration. Featuring the words and voices of various women including Kenyan writers Wambui Mwangi, Ndinda Kioko, and provocations attributed to African American writer Audre Lorde.

4 October: Sian Bonnell, Excerpts from Luda, 2017, 53’’
Luda is a series of photographs and short videos made in Rome during the hot summer of 2017. The first sequence is a feminised re-working of Duchamp’s 3 Standard Stoppages (1913–14) where a damp towel is repeatedly thrown at a chair. The second video is an absurd sculptural sequence featuring domestic furniture and implements.

5 October: Samuel Hasler, Rome Sketch 2, 2018, 7’01
A sketch for a portrait of the city of Rome via nerves, ghosts, insults, and angst. Most of the text in the film came about when I was writing insults to Rome. I’m not sure why but I wanted to describe the city in an insulting manner. Rome is ‘layered like a verruca’ for instance, thinking about how the city has these deep immovable roots, slightly painful, seemingly both static and yet busy, and sitting in this space between living and dead. Rome is ‘an epilepsy threatening to fit’ in as much as the atmosphere in the city feels always in a state of heightened anxiety; Rome can feel like a constant almost-emergency.

6 October: Anna Brass, Otro Mundo, 2017, 9’
Otro Mundo shows a world of images that feel alive but remain distant; they’re elusive and unfathomable, like a lost language: oversized pilgrim badges, religious tableaux, green men, a pageant wagon, and a zodiac man with astrological signs painted on his body. These images belong to the rich visual culture of medieval England, from which we are estranged. The film was commissioned by Senate House Library in London. It was shown as part of their exhibition marking 500 years since the start of the European Reformation and revolves around the palpable sense of dislocation and confusion felt by modern audiences when looking at pre-reformation imagery.

8 October: Martin Westwood, A Seed Is Still A Stone Until It Is Sown, 2012, 15’04
A Seed Is Still a Stone Until It Is Sown is a video work of a game of Solitaire played with coins denominated as fractions of one Euro: 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. The ‘game-board’ is made from a soft, putty-like substance that grips the game’s ‘pieces’ enforcing the player’s engagement with the material conditions of the game.

9 October: Sista Pratesi, 10 000 years (III) short, 3’42
The video formed part of an installation of a section of an aeroplane that I built and each seat had its own viewing screen.

A circular journey through the primeval world of the mind.
The Agricultural Revolution as a symbol,
Wheat as a crop,
That grew the human population.
How can something so nourishing in the beginning become so prescriptive in the end.

Image: Martin Westwood, Video Still from A Seed Is Still A Stone Until It Is Sown, 2012. Courtesy the artist.