“In the world of video art a strong male predominance”

Under the heading “cyber-performance”, the Treccani encyclopedia names the only woman the Italian Francesca Fini. A certificate of indisputable professional identification for the Roman born in 1970. Fini is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary artist and has presented his work over the years at the MACRO and MAXXI Museum in Rome, at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, at the Schusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow, at Tese from Arsenal in Venice, at the Georgia Institute of Technology and in several national and international academic areas. In Italy, to be exact in Aosta, he co-organizes with Marco Chenevier the sixth edition of T * Danse – Danse et technologie, the International Festival of New Dance.

But what is cyber performance?

«A performance where the technological element is an integral part, a reinforcement of the body. Technology is not just a tool, but something that is incorporated into the performance ».

Are you the only representative in Italy?

“Giacomo Verde, who died two years ago, was a great exponent of this language. We can also include the Studio Azzurro group with its installations and Muta Imago. Surely I can say that I am the only woman; perhaps because of my ignorance can escape other representatives of cyber performance, but I would like to say that this is the case: I am the only woman who does these things and in the way I do them.

Is the world of dance repulsive or accommodating to women?

“Dance is an absolutely feminine environment with all the characteristics of femininity, based on the body; men have much more trouble relating to their body. The woman, guardian of the biological element, makes it easier ‘.

While video art?

“Contemporary art is much less accommodating, installation and video art, where there is a strong masculine predominance, and the imagination is a weakened minimalism, absolutely masculine and not at all feminine. There it is harder to impose itself. Performance, on the other hand, is a women’s area “.

What does it mean to be a mediating performance artist?

«This means that one’s work develops through different media, which become tools not to implement or reinforce its concept as in multimedia, where media accumulates, but to transform it. When I talk about communicators, it means that I actively explore these means and become elements that are able to modify my way of making art.

What is your artistic path?

“I come from performance art, which is a fleeting language, from contingency, from here and now: theoretically, it lives only in the moment when the performance is played out and only for those present who are part of that experience.”

What did it mean to add video performance?

“Here I am embarking on a radical process of putting together two languages ​​that are actually incompatible: one is currently alive, the other in archiving. To do this, I use an intermediate approach, that is, I analyze these two languages ​​and mix them to give birth and develop a new language, born with different privileges ».

Can you describe your work?

“In a video performance that is a performance staged solely for the camcorder and not for an audience, I create a set and a set of tools that are typical of filmmaking and get the most out of them. My action is authentic because – at least according to the rule I have given myself – it is performed for the first time in front of the video camera without proof ».

So move on to editing?

“The material is processed in the editing and becomes a video performative work, where the authenticity and immediacy of the action is guaranteed that I do not practice, but act from start to finish without stopping, whatever the result, for the cold eye. Of the video camera that observes me without to judge.

Are these film projects?

“Well then. It’s not simple ‘documentation’ with a fixed video camera or a single point of view or natural light, these are film works where the light is perfect in every shot».

How does he do it?

“I create an almost” spherical “room, where I have many camcorders aimed at the stage, and the light is designed in such a way that I am perfectly illuminated from all angles for each camera, and microphones scattered throughout the room to record sound from any point. The preparation is methodical in the setting, the space is studied in detail, but the performance takes place spontaneously and for the first time ‘.

As the artistic director of “T * Danse – Danse et technologie” together with Marco Chenevier, what is the chosen artistic direction?

“Our goal has always been to focus on experiments and language pollution. We have tried to intercept new ways of expressing body technology in a contemporary context, with an eye for experimentation, but never for free.”

The show that gave you the most satisfaction to get on the bill?

“Over the years, Marco has given me the opportunity to implement the ‘performance’ section, which I personally take care of. I have brought artists from all over the world, from Mexico, from England, to an environment where the performance for the first time at a dance festival is “real” performance. It’s not about a dancer doing a show, but a performer coming to do a show. ”

Your professional references?

“A great inspirer was Giacomo Verde, the first to dedicate his entire life to cyber performance and to video theater in Italy. The other references are the history of the art of performance: from Vito Acconci to Marina Abramovic to Gina Pane ».

What do you remember from your participation in Venice International Performance Art Week?

“It was one of the most interesting festivals I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen so many all over the world! All the artists lived this experience together, the very structure of the festival made sure we could all see each other’s works. created a huge community ”.

On May 22, he will present the work “Vanitas Vanitatum” in Rome at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, as part of the review “The video makes you happy” curated by Valentina Valentini: what is it about?

«An animated video in which the portraits of art history, antiquity, from the 18th and 19th centuries, magically come to life and fulfill the fate that ideally awaits them. The title refers to the words that open the book of Ecclesiastes (“Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas”, in Italian “vanity of vanity, all is vanity”), which makes us reflect on the impermanence of human ambitions and on that fact , that we are all destined to succumb and disappear ».

What advice would you give to a young woman who would like to do her job?

“To study contemporary art a lot and try to get in touch with a living artist who works close to his own imagination, trying to offer himself as an assistant or intern. Practicing with a contemporary artist remains something irreplaceable.

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