10 Apr 24 May 2013
Mario Rizzi, Al Intithar (2013), video (still)
Mario Rizzi, Al Intithar (2013), video, exhibition view
Mario Rizzi, Kazın Ayağ (2012), video, exhibition view
Mario Rizzi, Ash-shab yurid isqat an-nizam (2013), neon installation
The Italian artist Mario Rizzi dedicates his films to individual lives that are marked by sometimes dramatic political or social circumstances. He focuses on individuals' ability to survive and live with dignity.
At the exhibition Mario Rizzi will present his latest film, the 30-minute Al Intithar (The Waiting), which was first shown at the Berlin Film Festival competition in February. Al Intithar was recorded during a seven-week stay at Camp Zaatari, a Syrian refugee camp in the Jordanian desert. Mario Rizzi documents the lives of several Syrian women in this ongoing state of emergency, which now involves hundreds of thousands of refugees. His pictorial language proves the relationship of mutual acceptance and discretion between filmmaker and filmed evident.
Al Intithar is the first part of a trilogy of films entitled Bayt (House), which pursues evidence and symptoms of social upheaval in a private context. In Florence, the film will be accompanied by a new neon work by Mario Rizzi.
We are pleased that Al Intithar will also be shown on the big screen at the Middle East Film Festival in Florence on 7 April.
The second film in the exhibition, the hour-long Kazın Ayağı (The Goose's Foot, 2012), was made in Istanbul and reflects on the rapid and ruthless top-down gentrification and the displacement of entire populations, mainly Roms and Kurdish, through the medium of shadow puppet theatre. Together with the puppeteer Emin Senyer, Mario Rizzi developed a piece that uses the traditional characters and dialogue process of Karagöz shadow theatre as well as more than 30 newly built traditional puppets. The film chronicles both the production and the performance of the puppet theatre.
The two films will run alternately at the exhibition.
On the occasion of the exhibition, a book on Al Intithar will be published with an essay by the renowned Iranian film and literary scholar Hamid Dabashi, who teaches at Columbia University in New York.
Mario Rizzi's films have been shown at the MAK, Vienna (2013); the National Center for Contemporary Arts, St. Petersburg (2011); the Taipei Biennale (2008), the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2008); the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2008); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); the Tate Modern, London (2007); the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2007); the Istanbul Biennial (2005) and the Sydney Biennale (2004). His film Murat ve Ismail is part of the permanent collection at MoMA, New York. In 2012 Rizzi won the Sharjah Art Foundation's Production Award for his project Bayt.
We would like to thank Pietro Gagliardi of Galleria Gagliardi Art System in Turin for his generous cooperation.