The seventh edition of the Mind the Gap project revolves around a video and film exploration of gesturality. As we know, our body is not immutable; it is constantly marked not only by the passing of time, but also by its surrounding cultural, social, and economic models. This implies that the body is an actor, in the etymological sense of the term; that is, it actively and directly participates in what happens. As we are taught by performative arts, the body is the experience of contact, of discovery, of the opening to the other; likewise, the body’s gestural forms also stress its relational and community attribute, deriving from a condition of shared existence.
Since its origins, film, and video production, especially the artistic, has focused on this double flow of representation-action which informs the gesturality of bodies. The works presented in this exhibition project by Éric Baudelaire, Francesco Bertocco, Anouk Chambaz, Eva Giolo and Silvi Naçi precisely move from this mixture of meanings carried by gesture.
Baudelaire’s video highlights the violence and arbitrariness that can originate from a gesture of censorship – in this case, of figurative subtraction – not just addressing the nature of what has been removed, but rather focusing on the re-signifying that a damaged image carries within.
Although different, the works by Chambaz and Naçi, instead, take a feminist stand by representing gestures that invite us to reflect upon the ancient violence women have been undergoing, but also upon the existence of their continuous, collective resistance.
Bertocco’s work focuses on actors’ peculiar and connoted gesturality within a performative context. These are poses, movements, and signs responding to a code – the theater – yet here subjugated by the artist to documentary observation, along the boundaries between the reality and staging framed by the video.
The absolute ordinary dimension and significance of daily life gestures are, lastly, the protagonists of Giolo’s works. Usual actions, sometimes ritual, perhaps automatized, words of a lexicon which includes the life of every day, are framed by the movie camera – somewhat a magnifying lens – until they achieve an almost heroic dimension.