The life of things and the invisible qualities of objects
Video Sound Art Festival XII edition
The twelfth edition of Video Sound Art focuses on the life of things, on the unexplored possibilities that each object holds in relation to history, identity, and social relations.
Objects endowed with vital force populate the entire archaic world. The drive to collect has been configured over the centuries as an attempt to encapsulate the image of the universe within the cabinet of curiosities, responding to the desire to solve enigmas.
A few months ago, I came across a small bear carrying a golden rifle over its shoulder. The object, now kept in the Kunstkammer of the Vienna History Museum, is made of musk paste, a perfumed essence obtained from the secretions of a musk deer, an endangered mammal. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, these objects were rare and were sources of great pride. I assumed there might have been an empathetic relationship between the owners and these sculptures that decorated rooms and costumes.
Wondering about the life of the musk paste, I imagined that bear under a window display, albeit today it is impossible to move because it is extremely fragile. Its function has changed over the centuries, and although always precious, from an object commissioned for personal use, today it is protected as a work of art. The small bear with the rifle is not neutral, as are none of the objects that surround us.
Objects play a pivotal role in the acts that compose our existence. Things have much to tell us, and, as soon as we begin to gather information about their context of production, circulation, and use, we inevitably come up against the interplay of reality and appearances.
What function do the objects around us take on today and what do they tell us? The exhibition winds its way through the theatre with installations, videos, and sculptural elements, with the intention of rewriting with visitors the connections that exist between us, the objects, and the matter that constitutes them.
Overproduction and resource depletion are transparent entities looming over our heads while the life of things continues to scan our days. There is a world of exchange and circulation of power around objects and of hidden stages that turn out to be much more than mere stages of production.
On show is the research of artists, curators, and performers who, through imagination, analysis, and the reading of invisible dynamics, try with us to transform objects and show access to parallel worlds. One can fold a dishcloth and present it in such a way that others see a brocade, said the theatre director Mejerchol’d, freeing the function of the object and rediscovering the much evoked imaginative possibilities.
Optical inversion is one of the missions of this edition. Let us not miss the opportunity.
Laura Lamonea, curator
The life of things
and the invisible qualities of objects
22 – 28 September 2022
Corso di Porta Romana, 63,
MM3 Crocetta, Milan
With the contribution of:
With the patronage of:
Comune di Milano – Milano è Viva
Consulate General of Japan in Milan
Open Call in collaboration with:
Associazione Amici di Duccio
Curated by Video Sound Art
Artistic direction and curator
Screening Program Coordinator
Open Call Coordinator
Thomas Ba, Gaia Lazzerini, Agnese dell’Omo
Lino Palena, Anita Wilczega,
Carlo Di Florio, Ileana Rutigliano
Press office and communication
Francesca Mainardi, Sofia Gemelli
Dario Leone and Cesare Rossi