27/09/14 – 11/01/2015
Curated by Frida Carazzato
On the anniversary of the Great War Rä di Martino presents a new project inspired by dummy tanks and produced in Bolzano… Dummy tanks made of wood, canvas and sometimes even painted by hand, were used in both the First and Second World Wars, and up to the present, to deceive the enemy. And strangely enough, while pretend military vehicles are used in real conflict situations, filmmakers tend to opt for the genuine article. Rä di Martino draws on this intriguing short circuit between fact and fiction in her latest project, which includes two new videos shot in Bolzano, and an installation.
One video recreates an archive photograph of 1918 from the Imperial War Museum in London, which shows a group of civilians observing a dummy tank abandoned on the street. While the historic photo was taken in the French town of Lille, Rä di Martino’s video shows a street in the centre of Bolzano, almost a century later, with a group of extras dressed in period costumes looking at a dummy tank.
The strange military vehicle does not seem overly out of place in the staged scene – the use of black and white creates a reassuring distance between the image and the viewer. The artist, however, sets out to do away with this in the second video, in which a genuine tank rumbles through the streets of Bolzano. This time there is no make-believe, no actors: the artist filmed the reactions of passers-by in the street coming face to face with a real-life war machine. In this new project, the constant shifts that the artist engineers between fact and fiction, past and present, open up new, unexpected angles on past history.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a journal with a text by Luca Lo Pinto, published by Museion (ita/dt/eng).
Rä di Martino (Rome, 1975) boasts numerous exhibitions in Italy and abroad in institutions like PS1, New York, Tate Modern, London, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, and MACRO, Rome. Her works have appeared at international Film Festivals such as the Locarno Film Festival, the New York Underground Film Festival and the Torino Film Festival. Her documentary “The Show Mas Go On” received the SIAE Price and the Premio Gillo Pontecorvo Arcobaleno Latino at the 2014 Venice Film Festival.
With the patronage of the Bolzano City Council
The artist would like to thank Matteo Viglietta SpA, NCTM per l’arte, CAP Contemporary Art Projects and the “Lancieri di Novara” (5°) Regiment, Codroipo (UD).
Image: Rä di Martino, The Fog #1 2014, Courtesy Copperfield Gallery, London