WITH THE SUPPORT OF
Fondazione svizzera per la cultura Pro Helvetia
The installation created at Assab One by Fabiana de Barros and Michel Favre continues their common research begun in 2006 in the frame of the “Estudio Abierto” show in Buenos Aires and following the SESC of San Paolo with the realisation of the video installation Move, that accompanies the Milan show.
In both cases, they had worked using closed circuit electric wires and a thermal video camera, sensitive only to the heat given off by the resistance the wire gave to the current and the heat of the viewers’ bodies. A video monitor played back in real time only the images in which the heat sources were visible: the electric wire and the visitors. All the other elements, starting with the architecture, were missing.
The project for Assab One starts off from those experiments and develops them with special reference to the original configuration of the location.
The intervention by Fabiana and Michel in Milan, indeed, dismantles the show space into several levels, but at the same time this reading on various planes is rendered unitary by the participation of the same central reference. The location is a disused printing workshop, now dedicated to hosting artistic projects, where a large printing machine (like a genius loci) stands. This is therefore the point from which the various readings branch off from and refer to.
The aim of the work is to intervene in a space that appears inert, but is still traversed by lines of force that may be revealed. This tells us that no place is neutral and that the void does not exist: every space is full instead of energy left by its being and its having been. It lies in a present immersed in these invisible and unexpected dimensions.
A first level, that is immediately experienced by the spectators, is that of their own presence in the show and of what they are viewing and experience: the old printing works with the large machine and the shadows of the projections.
At a second level, the space and the time of the memory are set, as the movements of the workers that were once busy around the machine appear on screen.
A third level is the most complex, upsetting the vision for which the visitors as subjects penetrating into the show with their views, become on the contrary the objects of an alien vision. An alienating effect that the artists achieve by constructing opposite the machine its silhouette designed by incandescent electric wires.
The infrared camera then films the surrounding space. In the film the architectonic structures and fixtures vanish. Only the shadows of the bodies of the visitors captured in the heated space of the machine appear in the images projected on the walls. This new view, that is of the machine itself, transposes the vision into a surrealistic suspension, a ghostly and central place in which all the elements of the exhibition are brought together.
Thanks to: Fulvio Salvadori, Deborah Berlinck, Michela Negrini, Tradam SA Genève, Art For the World.