Events & Exhibitions / GAM
GINO DE DOMINICIS
curated by di Elena Volpato
VideotecaGAM celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its artist video collection. For the occasion, GAM – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Turin is delighted to announce its collaboration with the Historic Archive of the Venice Biennale in making possible a series of six exhibitions, curated by Elena Volpato, that will be held over the course of two years. The six events, hosted at VideotecaGAM, will be dedicated to Gino De Dominicis, Giuseppe Chiari, Alighiero Boetti, Claudio Parmiggiani, Vincenzo Agnetti, and Jannis Kounellis.
They will present videos from the Archivio Storico della Biennale di Venezia in dialogue with works and materials from the GAM collections. The six exhibitions complete the events program that began in 2014, with the goal of narrating the history of Italian artist videos between the 1960s and 1970s. This exceptionally significant period represents the main core of the VideotecaGAM collections, to which a publication will be dedicated next year, along with material and testimonies gathered from key protagonists in the events proposed.
The first exhibition, a homage to Gino De Dominicis, compares Videotape, 1974, from the Historic Archives of the Biennale, with Tentativo di volo, 1969, from the GAM collections. Both works display the centrality of the temporal dimension in the artist’s practice and face the theme of eternity in different ways.
Videotape displays a young woman seated in front of the lens. She asks about the video she is going to see. Off-camera we hear a male voice telling her it is a video by De Dominicis. Soon after the woman comments: “Well, I only see people looking at me.” We are those people, all the viewers who have seen the video in these forty-five years from when it was made as well as all the people who will see it in the future. During the years when artist videos were nurtured upon the poetics of real time and the truth effect based on of the absence of cuts and editing, De Dominicis chose the video medium to compare two different eternal times: the eternity of the work that, almost unchangeable, compares the spectator and the absolute present of the face and voice of the people in the work with the eternity of the human species dreaming of immortality by preserving itself from one generation to the next. These two moments gaze upon one another through the work. The woman looks at us and sees herself looked at by us, while we, as spectators of the work, become aware of our own gaze and are engaged in the melding of both moments: her existence and our existence.
Tentativo di volo is a test of phylogenetic immortality: the passage from father to son of a task that over time may become real. That task entails following the impossible. Conquering flight coincides with conquering immortality, as if they were two parallel paths towards the transformation of man into god. “Maybe because I was never able to swim – states the artist – I decided to learn how to fly. In fact, for the past three years, I repeat this exercise every day, but I probably won’t ever be able to fly, but if I make my children repeat this exercise, too, maybe one day a descendent of mine will suddenly know how to fly.”