At the entrance to the Bologna Fair District, visitors are welcomed by a 5x9-meter megascreen displaying the LED Wall Commission videos – short art films conceived specifically for this unusual format and for the perspective of viewers coming to Arte Fiera. The first video in the series is by Yuri Ancarani (b. Ravenna, 1972), one of the rare Italian videomakers and filmmakers at home in both the visual arts and in cinema.
Look at the pictures at Arte Fiera
The video Senza titolo (Untitled) that Ancarani created for the LED Wall is related to his film Atlantide, previewed in the Orizzonti (Horizons) section of the 2021 Venice Film Festival: a story of adolescent rites of passage set in a Venice unknown to tourists and away from their flows, similar to the tides that periodically flood the city. The film is profoundly original, starting with its production process, based not on a screenplay but on years of slow work in the field, during which Ancarani earned the trust and collaboration of his very young actors (almost all non-professionals), captured with surprising naturalness in their daily life. The film’s story emerged during production and only gradually found a final form.
The process generated an enormous amount of shooting, a large part of which (not intended for the film and not included in it) consists of material that is dissimilar by nature and intent, at times intentionally resembling a documentary. Some of these fragments were used to create Senza titolo for the LED Wall. They are images of kids who use rags (and even a hair dryer) to dry plastic souvenirs pulled out of the water: a vaguely surrealistic sight that the artist and his troupe, wandering in a flooded Venice, happened upon by accident and seized immediately. The images are punctuated by a framing – carefully planned – of water rising along the steps of a dock and then covering the pier: the notorious high water that marks life in the city, and for which films shot in Venice always show the effects, not the process. In Ancarani’s images, Venice becomes the mirror of climatic, economic, and social problems of epic proportions that transcend the city’s unique fate and identity.
The unreleased scenes of Atlantide are also the leads in the large exhibit Yuri Ancarani. Atlantide 2017 - 2023, the artist’s solo show at MAMbo - Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, curated by Lorenzo Balbi and the main project of ART CITY Bologna 2023, opening Thursday 2 February: an immersive video-installation in which the film dialogues with the galaxy of materials from which it was created.
Details: Yuri Ancarani, Senza titolo, 2023, digital video, colour, silent, approx. 4’13’’