The 2019 edition will continue with the same modalities and criteria as the previous one. Barbara Wàgner and Benjamin de Burca – artists that represented the Brazilian Pavilion during the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale – will be involved as visiting professors. It’s the first time that a duo is involved, and it is very stimulating to have the opportunity to deal with two experts united by the same research, naturally with different views. Barbara is more attentive to the context and to what the artwork’s relations trigger or can trigger, whereas Benjamin cares about more technical matters but not fewer substantial ones (like sound, use of the voice, and the choice of the language during the shooting). Exchanges with the artists are really lively, Barbara and Benjamin’s generosity comes out also from the presentation evening of “Swinguerra”, when, speaking with Martina Angelotti (art director of Careof), they uncovered the behind the scenes of the artwork they presented during the 58th edition of the Biennale.
The finalists of the 2019 edition are: Valentina Bonizzi, Nuno Escudeiro, Miriam Gili, Corinne Mazzoli, Matteo Primiterra, The Cool Couple, Natália Trejbalová, Fabrizio Vatieri.
The prize of the 2019 edition – which involves the production and the circuitry of the artwork on Sky Art – is awarded to The Cool Couple with “The Cute and the Useful”, whose artwork has proven to be “an interesting proposal on the commercialization of the living as a paradigm of the contemporary society”.
Due to the high quality of the presented projects, ArteVisione LAB awards “From Below Upwards” by Matteo Primiterra "for the precise but at the same time poetic exploration of the relation between identity and space of a place deeply symbolic of Appennino in Abruzzo”. The film will be available on Sky Arte channel.
Open Call 2019
THE COOL COUPLE – "THE CUTE AND THE USEFUL”
The project analyses the perception of the idea of nature in the Western countries.
The research, entitled “The Cute and the Useful”, started in 2017 during an artist residency programme at Nirox Foundation, and continued in 2019 thanks to Premio Johannesburg. This expression identifies animal species that will survive the current mass extinction because of their affective or economic bond with human beings.
The project, which consists of a film and a publication, describes the South African wild animals industry: focused on the concept of private property, it turns animals into goods that can be bought, ceded, and rented, and at the same time they are protected, creating a real economy. The deepened friction between this situation and the Western idea of nature is the centre of “The Cute and the Useful”, stimulating a reflection on the perception of strong stereotypes linked to the Western idea of nature and the rise of the system that brought the Anthropocene.
The film tells the story of a diamond dealer who – pushed by a vision of nature strongly influenced by Western stereotypes and by the downturn in the wild animal market – decides to buy a property in South Africa, designed for ecotourism.
His intentions meet family oppositions: his father, anchored to the diamond market, doesn't understand the sense of a seemingly volatile investment, while his sister criticises moral aspects of the wildlife industry. The story follows the events between Northern Europe and South-Africa, guiding the audience through the controversial logics that govern the wildlife industry: a system that is now the most effective model of wildlife conservation in the world.
Also, this production receives recognition and support by the Italian Council (8th edition), circulating internationally thanks to the collaboration with Kunsthalle Lissabon (Lisbon) and Nirox Foundation (Johannesburg). The work has been acquired by the MAMbo in Bologna where didactic activities with Kabul Magazine are proposed, as well as the publication of a book – parallel to the film by Nero Editions – with the graphic project by Federico Antonini.
The circulation is held in South Africa at Nirox Foundation, place for the presentation of this work in Autumn 2021, and at the Viennale (the Vienna International Film Festival). Besides, the project offers formative workshops in collaboration with Kabul Magazine and in-depth discussions on several themes dealt at PAV (Parco Arte Vivente, Turin) and Careof, Milan.
“The Cute and the Useful” is also a film affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and, during the writing of this publication, we are bound to set out to South Africa where we activated collaborations with Triosphere – a local production company – as well as the photography director Roberto Beani.
Unfortunately, we had to delay our departure many times due to the Covid-19 that not only involved restrictions of movement, but also the online realisation of key moments of the film which had to be shot physically, such as the auction of wild animals.
“The Cute and the Useful” emphasises the concept of nature, today reminding of a paradisiac exoticism – particularly that of Africa – but in reality is preserved and maintained by human intervention. “Conservation by utilisation” is a South African method to protect the local fauna, otherwise mostly extinguished by the poaching, and to make a profit together – private parks, vast hunting lodges permit to manage tourists looking for safaris or paradisiac experiences, as well as hunters who buy their own lot before their arrival.
Earth and animals become a real market, characterised by an economic value that will last in the long term. Is it a shameful project or simply ambitious and forward-thinking?
Through documentary extracts and a fictional story, the aim of “The Cute and the Useful” is not giving answers but offering cross-sections of a complex reality.
PUBLIC PROGRAMME: BÁRBARA WAGNER AND BENJAMIN DE BURCA
Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca: discussion and screening
A public event in occasion of Artevisione LAB: on December 3rd 2019, the artists Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca will present, in conversation with Martina Angelotti, their artistic research and the screening of “Terremoto Santo” and “Swinguerra”, a work on show at the Brazilian Pavillon of the 58th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale.
“Terremoto Santo” (2017, 19'):
An experimental short film based on the recent wave of Evangelism that dominates the public debate in Brazil. It focuses on several social, economic and aesthetic aspects of gospel music, produced and performed by a young generation of believers who live in the traditional sugar cane plantations in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil.
The spotlight on this generation of gospel producers – in consideration of the moral, ethical and aesthetic elements of their religious practice, as well as their relationship with space, media, pop culture and desire – permits the musical to observe the gestures and voices of these people who see in the Evangelism a new form of business community, and to observe closely their faith aimed at economic and spiritual wellness.
“Swinguerra” (2019, 23'):
The title “Swinguerra” derives from the word swingueira, a popular dance rhythm from Northeastern Brazil, combined with war. The works by Wagner & de Burca focus on the powerful expressions of Brazilian contemporary popular culture and their complex relationship with international and local traditions. “Swinguerra” offers a deep and empathetic vision of Brazilian contemporary culture in a significant period of political and social tension. As in their previous films, the artists cooperate with their subjects in a horizontal and respectful relationship, aware of how entangled contemporary self-representation and consciousness are.
After the discussion at 9:30 p.m., Careof hosts within NAO Performing Festival, promoted by DiDstudio, the screening of:
“The choreographic ” | selection between dance, cinema and visual arts
Gilles Jobin | “Womb” (28’)
Jeremy Deller – Cecilia Bengolea | “Bom Bom’s Dream” (12’)
Delgado Fuchs | “Horsetail Knickerbelt” (28’)