Canadian Abstraction and Italian Fiction: Experimental Films and New Animation, curated by Fabrizio Gilardino
This evening’s two programmes reflect, on one hand, my own geography — Italy and Canada are the two countries in which I have spent most of my life so far —, and, on the other hand, two almost opposite ways to make films that have always attracted me: pure abstraction and non-narrative experimental approaches often based on pre-existing material’s détournement, collage, scratching and other manual intervention techniques, and animated fiction, where the “sign” — either painted or drawn using a whole range of different techniques — is almost the main focal point.
The first part of the evening will feature a small selection of recent experimental shorts culled from the Vidéographe’s catalogue. Located in Montréal, Québec, Vidéographe is an artist-run centre devoted to the creation, distribution and promotion of independent media art. Created in 1976 It has become one of Canada's most important centers of production and distribution of media art. Its catalogue of over 1600 videos is available on-line via its web-platform www.vitheque.com.
From the “natural” abstractions of Pierre Hébert (a pioneer of new animation techniques for more than 40 years, and a frequent visual collaborator of many innovative musicians such as Fred Frith, Bob Ostertag and Jean Derome), to Karl Lemieux’s manual interventions on recycled old 16 mm movies (frequently performed live with Godspeed You! Black Emperor with which Lemieux has been touring), the programme includes as well films by Frédéric Moffet, François Miron, Alexandre Fatta, Eric Gaucher and the female duo D. Kimm & Brigitte Henry.
The second part of the evening will be devoted to what might be called the New Wave of Italian Animation. It features authors who have mostly established themselves in the last ten to fifteen years, and whose main common point seems to be the desire to invent often ambiguous or enigmatic, if not decidedly absurd, characters, and tell stories in a fragmented narrative way. From Gianluigi Toccafondo’s fluid, almost painterly, elegance and sensuality, and Donato Sansone’s extraordinary animation techniques, to Michele Bernardi, Alessia Travaglini and Magda Guidi’s extremely elegant take on traditional animation, the programme will present a dozen unique and fascinating visual worlds.