|by FLATFORM & Giuliana PRUCCA|
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Snaturamenti is both the object and the device of the book of Flatform, a "collective artist" in the field of video and media art, at the border between experimental cinema and contemporary art.
The transition of various states (be they of spatial or temporal nature, geographical or historical, phenomenological or climatic) and the landscape as a complex net of connections between human beings and interspecies are the raw material of their artistic and philosophical research practice. They become the very mechanism of deconstruction and reconstruction of Flatform's films on the page, as operated by the author and curator Giuliana Prucca.
The passage from the moving image to the still image in book-format generates in itself a form of "snaturamento", literally an alteration of the nature of the original work, which, however, articulates itself in a new landscape, where the initial meanings are being displaced and are thus altering not only the narrative structure of the film but also the classical form of the book.
As a "synthetic unity of multiples", the book borrows its own functioning from Georg Simmel's visual model of the landscape, to illustrate the coexistence of the various states even during their mutation and trace them back to the permanence of a unique and comprehensive image. The film disappears in the book, but persists as an implicit source of inspiration in favor of a dynamic montage of the materials "subtracted" from Flatform's archive. Drawings, texts, diary entries, layers, frames, alternative sequences, backstage photographs, renderings of the installations ecc. join the video production, in a poetic and non-mimetic exercise of Flatform's cinematographic techniques – like compositing and audio-visual phase-shifing – in order to narrate, and undermine, natural phenomena and laws of physics, redefine concepts of time and space, modify perceptive paradigms, transform the possible into the impossible - and viceversa, creating an unstable equilibrium between the foreseeable and the unexpected, between control and chance, between obsessive precision and error, or stumbling accidents.
Being not a concept, but percept book, the book uses a series of graphic artifices to reposition the reader/spectator at the center of the real experience of the landscape – and of the reading, which is not visual or contemplative, but tangible and immersive.
Being not artbook, but workbook, working tool and instruction manual, it builds and at the same time reveals the mechanics of the pages, whose intent is no longer to show, but to reactivate the act of looking to bring forth a new vision from the image's blindness.
In a territory of perpetual transitions, the book looses its cover, and thus the perimeter which defines its beginning and end. The content is externalized and, at the same time, we are directly immersed in it, with the sense that something begins – or ends – elsewhere, offscreen, or anywhere, thanks to some shifted "mobile" signatures gradually marking the end of the book and mirroring the circularity conveyed by the work of Flatform. What follows is the configuration of four different and independent versions within the same print run, which carry, in latency, the possibility of being reunited. The performativity required of the reader to recompose the fragments in their entirety gives the book an interactive and installational dimension on a par with Flatform's environmental works; it expands it, projects and verticalizes it in an exterior volume, further "denaturing" - "snaturando" – its horizontal sequential quality and displacing it in an exhibition space.
© Giuliana Prucca / AVARIE
Founded in 2006 and based in Berlin and Milan, Flatform is a media arts collective that creates time-based works, film events, and installations, most of which revolve around landscape and biopolitics. Distributed by Light Cone in Paris and by Video Data Bank in Chicago, works by Flatform have competed in major film festivals including Cannes, Rotterdam, Venice, Toronto, and have been shown worldwide in art venues such as Centre Pompidou, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Hirshhorn Museum, MAXXI Museum, Eye Filmmuseum, Wexner Center for the Arts and Garage Center for the Arts. Their film That which is to come is just a promise has been shortlisted for the Academy Award.
AVARIE (Artbooks Vuoti A Rendere International Edition) is a Paris/Berlin based independent publisher founded in 2012, specializing in contemporary art books and exploring the relationship between texts and images, space and body. With thoughtful stylistic choices and particular attention to the quality of contents, AVARIE sees books as a privileged space of creation and research that results from a close collaboration with the artist and the graphic designer, at the outskirts of commercial production. Through a dynamic and coherent montage of different materials (photography and film, performance and installation, writing, drawing and collage), AVARIE’s publications reflect an interest in the transversality of artistic disciplines and in the subversive potential of the image to short-circuit the system of representation, as well as to question the classical form of the book by making it a place for experimentation. Books by Antoine d’Agata, Katrien de Blauwer, Ion Grigorescu and Peter Downsbrough have been exhibited internationally and selected, in particular, for the Author’s Book Award at the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, the Prix Bob Calle du Livre d’artiste (Paris) and the Shannon Michael Cane Award (Los Angeles).
|city and year of publication||Paris, 2022|
|languages||English & French & Italian|