Galleria Lorcan O’Neill is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by video artists Masbedo. The project, conceived for the gallery’s site-specific project space, will include the screening of a single-channel video work entitled Until The End, a series of photographs, and a video installation called Still Life.
Masbedo recently showed their video installation Kreppa Babies, part of the so-called “Icelandic cycle”, at Art Basel Unlimited. They also presented the live video performance C’est la vie pas le paradis at the MAXXI Museum in Rome in May 2011. The video Until The End, screened for the first time at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, marks the beginning of a new thematic cycle, which is also represented in the other works in the show, all of which were produced in Berlin this spring.
Until The End doesn’t have a narrative, but it illustrates, thanks to a single moving image, a universal message which the artists have defined as the “condemnation” or “sentence to greatness”. On a black background, a ballerina strives to rise and to detach herself from the ground. The video shows only the detail of her feet as she attempts to go on point, barefoot. Such a primitive gesture is on the one hand symbolic of physical elevation and a metaphor for overcoming social context. The “sentence to greatness” for her comes to signify her ambition to attain beauty and power. On the other hand this image represents the attempt of a physical being to rise in a metaphysical dimension, where the body strives for the Light, the Infinite, the Spirit and for God.
Until The End is also a contemporary transfiguration of the celebrated Degasian dancer, who has become an icon of art history through the power evoked by three essential characteristics: the circular motion around an ideal universal axis, the graceful and weightless ribbon which wraps the hair, and the gaze continuously turned upwards. Although not literally nor visually cited, in the Masbedo film we observe the ancestral obsession of a body caught in a circular and vertical movement, and the image of a young but tired body, a symbol of man’s resistance to the inevitable passage of time. Contrary to the image of a classic ballerina, with her toe shoes and her elegant posture, the dancer in Until The End is identified by the nudity of her feet, which have become gnarled over time. Her desperate effort to go on point is a gesture of sacrifice, because it entails both physical suffering and transcendence to a higher dimension, either spiritual, moral or aesthetic. With this imagery Masbedo propose a new model for the ballerina, wherein she is humanized and thus rendered alive and mortal. Text by Luca Bradamante.
Masbedo are Nicolò Massazza (Milan, 1973) and Jacopo Bedogni (Sarzana, 1970).
They have exhibited in numerous Italian galleries: MAXXI (2011); Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Turin (2010); MamBo, Bologna (2008); Pecci Centre, Prato (2007); MACRO, Rome (2004). Amongst their solo exhibitions in 2010 are exhibitions at the Centre for Contemporary Art Uajzdowsky Castle, Warsaw and at the CRAAVilla Giulia, Verbania; and in 2006 at the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona. They exhibited the Fundacion Telefonica, Buenos Aires (2010); at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2009) and at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Tel Aviv (2007).
They participated at the Venice Biennale in 2009, and this year their work was exhibited amongst the Unlimited projects at Art Basel.