Cinema & Contemporary Art at ‘Lo Schermo’

A scene from “Pippa Bacca”

Because of the Covid-19 health emergency, The Festival of Cinema and Contemporary Art (Lo Schermo dell’Arte) will move forward with their thirteenth edition online November 10 through the 14th, remaining available online until November 22 through Più Compagnia.  All entries—some of which are in English including Keith Haring, Street Art Boy—will be shown in their original language with Italian subtitles..  For a standard ticket costing €9.90, those interested can see over 40 films, as well as experience various virtual festival talks and round table discussions.

Kicking off on Tuesday, the Festival of Cinema and Contemporary Art (lo Schermo dell’Arte) was founded by Massimo Carotti, Luca Dini, and Silvia Lucchesi in 2008 in Florence. The international project explores the relationship between contemporary art and cinema through films, videos, installations, and residencies for international artists. Silvia Lucchesi, the Festival’s director, expresses her excitement about being able to view films on the big screen once again. Gucci is sponsoring this year’s edition and is presenting the program “Around Coexistence,” curated by Leonardo Bigazzi. There will be four films highlighted, including New Acid (2019) by Basim Magdy which will stream from 11 am to 7 pm each day of the festival in the Cinema da Camera of the Gucci Garden. The film uses text messages, GIFs, and emojis to create a dialogue laced with irony and sarcasm to portray conflict among species.

The festival’s programming will begin on Nov. 10 with the streaming of various movies on Più Compagnia at 10 am or 3 pm. From 10 am on Tuesday, the Italian premiere of Sandlines (2020) by Belgian artist Francis Alÿs will be available to view; the work is set in a village near Ninevah, Iraq, and tells the story of the country’s history through the perspective of a group of children. The documentary #JR by Serge July and Daniel Ablin will also stream at the same time. The movie follows well-known French artist JR and his career traveling to New York, Shanghai, Palestine, and the border between the United States and Mexico.

Wednesday will continue screenings as well as introduce two festival talks. The first, titled “Duchamp Is Our Lawyer,” will take place at 3 pm at the Manifattura Tabacchi. The curatorial collective Francesco Urbano Ragazzi and founder of the online archive UbuWeb will discuss the consumption and diffusion of art on the Internet. The second talk will be virtual and occur at 7 pm via Più Compagnia, inviting Flatform, the creators of the film History of a Tree (2020), and Lucchesi to the virtual stage. History of a Tree, the story of the oldest oak tree in Europe, will stream at 3 pm that same day and will be available until Nov. 22. Similar to the previous day, there will also be a wide selection of international films that can be accessed virtually beginning at 3 pm, including the two documentaries: The Sculpture (2020) by Taiwanese artist Misquiqui Chihying on Chinese collector and philanthropist Xie Yanshen, and Hans Harting, la fureur de peindre (2019) by Romain Goupil which spotlights abstract painter Hans Hartung.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will also see more virtual showings and festival talks. On Thursday at 10 am, Simone Manetti’s film Sono innamorato di Pippa Bacca (2019) is scheduled. The plot reconstructs the story of artist Pippa Bacca who was murdered during her Brides on Tour trip and performance to Jerusalem in the company of her friend Silvia Moro.

Friday also at 10 am, guests can view the sculptures and installations of Anna Franceschini’s Bustrofedico (2019), which was the closing event for the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019. At 7 pm on the same day via virtual streaming, there will be a talk with Franceschini and curator Milovan Farronato. Also on Friday at 3 pm, the festival will stream Iván Argote’s film Espacios Seguros (2020) which captures inscriptions by the Collages Feminicides, an anonymous collective of women artists who bring awareness to gender violence and femicide in France. The piece is in response to the growing number of domestic violence cases during the pandemic.

The final day on Saturday will offer films from 10 am onwards, including Basir Mahmood’s Sunsets, everyday (2020) which also speaks on domestic violence, as well as Riccardo Benassi’s Phonemenology (2018) which unpacks technology’s impact on spaces. Benassi will speak with director Andrea Lissoni at 7 pm to close the festival.

The Festival will also celebrate the work of 12 Italian and European artists who were selected to participate in the prestigious VISIO European Program on Artists’ Moving Images, a research and residency initiative conceived and curated by Bigazzi. The selected artists include Jonas Brinker (Germany), Claudia Claremi (Cuba, Spain), Helen Anna Flanagan (England, Ireland), Valentina Furian (Italy), Megan-Leigh Heilig (South Africa, Germany), Marcin Liminowicz (Poland, Holland), Edson Luli (Albania, Italy), Olena Newkryta (Ukraine, Austria), Ghita Skali (Morocco, Holland), Peter Spanjer (Nigeria, Germany, England), Emilia Tapprest (Finland, France, Holland), and Tora Wallander (Sweden). Their work will be displayed in the exhibition “Resisting the Trouble – Moving Images in Times of Crisis,” put on by the European Program for Artists’ Moving Images and Not a Museum (NAM), the contemporary space at the Manifattura Tabacchi (via delle Cascine 33/35). The exhibition will present 12 films by the selected artists and respond to how digital media has both created a sense of community during the pandemic. The show’s inauguration was originally set for Nov. 9 but has since been postponed due to the latest government decree which closed exhibitions until December 4.

To learn more about this year’s Lo Schermo dell’Arte, visit the festival website or call (+39) 339 4736584.  (elizabeth berry)