The Open Image

OPEN CALL 2020 The Open Image
for artists, curators, researchers, travelers – in collaboration with the Touring Club Italiano

Since 2011 Video Sound Art has supported the production of new artworks by promoting research paths in historical archives or artistic residences. Over the years, the new works – with the support of expert craftsmen and scholars – have been presented to the public in exhibition contexts far from ordinary distribution circuits, with the aim of testing the ability of art to adapt to different social contexts: public schools, underground spaces such as the former hotel Diurno Venezia, theater rooms … Ten years of attempts in which the winners were involved in the creation of social-sharing models, rethinking public spaces, connecting with random visitors or in the presence of the most important actors of the sector – artists, gallery owners, collectors, representatives of public and private institutions.

In contrast to the alleged autonomy of formal art, these practices necessitate the opening of a dialogue between distant disciplines and contexts, subject to a mutual interpretative ambiguity. Sewing up the relational fabric that is missing in reality is among the objectives of these operations.

Taking the precious Archive of the Touring Club Italiano as starting point, the participants will be able to give new shapes to the collection by organizing its materials and creating visual narratives with them. The selected works will be presented in November at the Cozzi swimming pool in Milan.


Storytelling and visual storytelling

Assembly, détournement, postproduction, display are all ways in which the icon-navigating artist can approach the archive and build new narratives and counter-narratives.

A precedent to mention is the Mnemosyne Atlas, the monumental atlas in which Aby Warburg investigates the “forms of the pathos” (Pathosformeln) and the relationship between man and the cosmos from Greco-Roman and Eastern antiquity to contemporary times. The intuitive and anachronistic combination of over a thousand photographs, organized in 82 paintings, gives a  dialectical and evocative dimension to the images, stimulating us to overcome the intellectual approach in favor of the sensorial and sentimental one.

The aesthetic and epistemological significance of the Mnemosyne Atlas was highlighted by the French critic Georges Didi-Huberman with two exhibitions and numerous contributions and publications. Huberman says: “the fact is that the open image crosses time according to the modalities of the unexpected, the symptom, the survival: removals and returns of the repressed, repetitions and reworkings, traditions and missing links, tectonic movements and surface earthquakes” (in The open image. Motifs of the incarnation in the visual arts, Bruno mondadori 2008). This “opening” operation, which Warburg first initiated and which Huberman codifies, is the challenge that Video Sound Art Festival and the Archive of the Touring Club Italiano issue to artists and scholars with this call.