Curated by Chiara Nuzzi
10’30’’, Video HD 1080p
The work by Riccardo Benassi responds, according to a personal and subjective perception, to the condition of constriction and physical limitation experienced during the last year as a containment strategy of Covid-19 diffusion. Taking into account the more general situation of detention, the video reflects at the same time on the propulsive energy triggered by bodies, both human and vegetable, to escape from such a sedentary condition. Universal Burnout, a unique sequence shot accompanied by a hypnotic soundtrack and a narrating voice landed by the artist and sound theoretic Brandon LaBelle, portrays a burning centenary tree on fire in the middle of an apparently desolated landscape. The fire fighters’ attempts to douse the flames seem useless; the smoke expands until it becomes impossible for us to still observe the scene. The narrating voice reads out “Fire”, a short tale by the contemporary writer Karl Ove Knausgår whose subjects are fire and its relations with the spiritual world, which resonate of analogies with the concept of virus. The title of the video – based on a pun having in “burn” its centre, creates a further bridge with the contemporary historical moment, mainly in relation with isolationism, insecurity and the undaunted proceeding of life, for which the tree easily becomes the symbol for all of us. The narration, conceived to be experienced remotely indoor, works as a meditative moment of detachment from the daily interactive use of the monitor, by which the video itself is visualized.
Riccardo Benassi (Cremona, 1982. Lives and works in Berlin)
Benassi’s practice developed through the years by a multidisciplinary approach that reflects on the impact of technologies in our daily relation with space and people and on how these have radically altered the living structures and the organization of the real, from architecture to politics as well as the production and consumption of culture. Often developing collaborative projects within the “subcultures” in the 90s, since the beginning of his career, Benassi has represented a key figure among the underground European musical scene. Likewise active within the visual art field, specifically interested in the New Media and in particular within the expressive growth of the millennial generation, he became a reference figure on the theoretic, the formative and procedural level. His works are the result of an articulated assemblage of images, texts, sounds, colours, props and different materials, which together celebrate and investigate the technological dysfunction and the semantic and associative short-circuit. In the last years, the textual language has entered ever more within his artistic production.