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A broad retrospective on the artistic duo who, on the border between experimental cinema and the visual arts, explore the great tragedies of the 20th century with civil commitment.
PART I – BONDS
The retrospective opens with I Diari di Angela. Noi due cineasti, chapters one and two, an intimate and autobiographical account that has the merit of being able to restore the artistic and emotional value of a life together, in the constant work of rereading and critical redefinition of the cinematographic and documentary archives. In these two films, the diaries on which for years Angela jotted down every day suggestions, meetings, readings and drawings, are the precious archive from which Yervant draws to write a new page of an artistic life path that survives Angela’s death in 2018.
The exciting assemblage of phrasing, some of which is unpublished, restores moments of everyday life lived together: family, work, thoughts and new important projects still to be completed, the promise, the oath, to continue the work. Angela and Yervant: angels and warriors of cinema, as Stuart Comer, Chief Curator of Media and Performance at MoMa, has defined them, who know no half-tones but only the poetry and strength of images that provoke strong tensions.
Angels and Warriors of Cinema is the broad retrospective with which MAXXI is celebrating the career of the artistic duo Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi. An opportunity to retrace, through four thematic focuses that will alternate throughout 2021, the extraordinary work of two artists who, on the border between experimental cinema and the visual arts, explore with civil commitment the great tragedies of the 20th century.
The first chapter, which celebrates the personal life and the indissoluble bond between the two artists, will be followed by an in-depth examination of conflicts with a selection of films dedicated to the theme of war, while in the third, the body, treated as an object and as a shell, will highlight the blurring of the human essence. The exhibition will close with a story told through images of the rise of the great totalitarianisms.
header: Y. Gianikian and A. Ricci Lucchi, I Diari di Angela – Noi due cineasti. Chapter II, 2019 (still from video)
The work of Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi is part of the tradition of international experimental cinema with a style characterized by the meticulous and precise treatment of filmic, pictorial and videographic material. The great wars, Fascism, dictatorships, colonialism and neo-colonialism are the themes that, starting from 1975, are reinterpreted through a rich corpus of works. Like surrealist objets trouvés, their works originate from the recovery of pre-existing footage on which the artists intervene by isolating details, changing colors and slowing down the speed of the film, in order to reproduce in unusual forms stories of archival materials that have not yet been told.
Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi’s work has been the subject of retrospectives and exhibitions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Cinémathèque Française, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In 2015 they won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for their participation in the Armenian Pavilion and also the FIAF – International Federation of Film Archives Award.