CARTABURRO presents a new body of work exploring, through Franceschini’s filmic research, the wide and eclectic artistic and theoretical corpus of the Italian architect, photographer and artist Carlo Mollino (active from the 30’s to the 70’s).
Franceschini looks at the heterogeneity and wide-ranging relationships between phenomena, discourses and techniques emerging from Mollino’s work, which spans across furniture design, architecture, photography and ski studies.
Looking at identity politics, the representation of the body and its performativity as mise en scène, Franceschini presents a new video installation inspired by the formal dynamics of Mollino’s oeuvre. A universe, where the recurring sinuosity of the curved line and the careful construction of the stage, are translated by Franceschini from Mollino’s work into a filmic realm composed by 3 new videos. This media and temporal transition is developed in an organic and fluid installation composed by films, bodies, scenographic elements and objects, which are activated and staged.
The films in the show investigate the architectures of a gaze. Franceschini explores its emotional and erotic implications, questioning the dialectic between female and male gaze in cinema history.
A structure recalling the lines of Mollino’s design and plans is floating and twisting through the exhibition space supporting the monitors. It activates the space similarly to the mutable sets used by Mollino as theatrical or scenic architectures for his photographs.
A girl’s face and the transparent surface of a Mollino’s table top interact with each other in a metaphorical vision. The filmplays with the shapes and curves of the tableArabesco,designed in the late 40’s by Mollino, relating it to a presence, to a body. The glass becomes a display and is displayed at the same time, altering the relation between subject and object, between container and contained. Temporalities are confused and overlapped: the arabesque and sinuous lines of the table disappear in ethereal shapes of smoke from a vaping cigarette.
The relations and exchanges between subject and object are further investigated in a film/display where the roles of what is observed and what is showed are constantly put into question. Inspired by the interiors of Casa Devalle in Turin (1939 - 40), the filming of a mise en scèneand its theatrical connotations becomes a meta-linguistic reflection on the filmic medium itself. Hands, necks, a torso, parts of a female body, used for the display of jewellery, become subjects of the film. They emerge naked and fragmented from the darkness of a blue background, lighted by their own beauty. The illusionistic and theatrical devices used in the films recall a magical realm and the fascination of the early cinema.
With a feticistic gaze, a portrait in the form of a wardrobe tries to depict a mutable identity through the details and items that define their appearance, their aura, similarly to a medial system. Franceschini refers to the polaroid portraits by Mollino and his attention to details in staging the models, which imaginary is here turned into a erotic film without bodies.
Courtesy of the artist and ALMANAC Projects, London
Photos by Oskar Proctor
CARTABURRO is a project by the artist Anna Franceschini, curated by Guido Santandrea, winner of the second edition of Italian Council (2017), a competition conceived by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP) – an organism of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, to promote Italian contemporary art in the world. CARTABURROisa project funded by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, Q-International - a grant by Fondazione La Quadriennale di Roma. It is realized in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute of Brussels, Fondo Carlo Mollino - Politecnico di Torino, ALMANAC INN, Turin and ALMANAC Projects, London, and is supported by Zanotta and Film Commission Torino Piemonte. ALMANAC INN is supported by Fondazione CRT and Compagnia di San Paolo.